Wanneer gemeten vrij T4 en vrij T3 misleidend kunnen zijn ...

Het gebeurt wel dat uitslagen van bloedonderzoek een verrassend beeld geven. In genoemd onderzoek beschrijven de auteurs een dergelijke situatie. Aangeraden wordt dus om altijd je bloed bij hetzelfde lab te laten prikken.

Case report: When measured free T4 and free T3 may be misleading. Interference with free thyroid hormones measurements on Roche® and Siemens® platforms
Krzysztof C Lewandowski, Katarzyna Dąbrowska and Andrzej Lewiński

Laat je bloed altijd op dezelfde tijd en in hetzelfde lab prikken


A 59-year old female patient presented with apathy and 6 kg weight gain. Investigations revealed severe primary hypothyroidism (TSH>100 μIU/ml). L-thyroxine (L-T4) was started and titrated up to 75 μg, once daily, with clinical improvement. Other investigations revealed very high titres of anti-thyroid peroxidase (anti-TPO) and anti-thyroglobulin (anti-Tg) antibodies.

After three months, there was a fall in TSH to 12.74 μIU/ml, however, with unexpectedly high free T4 (FT4) - 6.8 ng/ml and free T3 (FT3) - 6.7 pg/ml concentrations [reference range (rr): 0.8-1.9 ng/ml and 1.5-4.1 pg/ml (Siemens®), respectively].

At this stage L-T4 was stopped, and this was followed by a rapid increase in TSH (to 77.76 μIU/ml) and some decrease in FT4 and FT3, however FT4 concentration remained elevated (2.1 ng/ml). Following this, L-T4 was restarted. On admission to our Department, she was clinically euthyroid on L-T4, 88 μg, once daily. Investigations on Roche® platform confirmed mildly elevated TSH - 5.14 (rr: 0.27-4.2 μIU/ml) with high FT4 [4.59 (rr: 0.93-1.7 ng/ml)] and FT3 [4.98 (rr: 2.6-4.4 pg/ml)] concentrations. Other tests revealed hypoechogenic ultrasound pattern typical for Hashimoto thyroiditis.

There was no discrepancy in calculated TSH value following TSH dilution (101% recovery). Concentrations of FT4 and FT3 were assessed on the day of discontinuation of L-T4 and after four days by the means of Abbott® Architect I 1000SR platform. These revealed FT4 and FT3 concentrations within the reference range [e.g., FT4 - 1.08 ng/ml (rr: 0.7-1.48)] vs 4.59 ng/ml (rr: 0.93-1.7, Roche®), FT3 - 3.70 pg/ml (rr: 1.71-3.71) vs 4.98 (rr: 2.6-4.4, Roche®)], confirming assay interference. Concentrations of ferritin and SHBG were normal.


Clinicians must be aware of possible assay interference, including the measurements of FT4 and FT3 in the differential diagnosis of abnormal results of thyroid function tests that do not fit the patient clinical presentation.