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Interpretation of Biochemical Tests for Iron Metabolism in Hyperthyroidism

Monica Verma, Kiran Dahiya, Veena Singh Ghalaut, Prasanta Saha Roy, Abhishek Soni, Renuka Verma


Objective: Several studies suggest that thyroid hormones may affect erythropoiesis. However the mechanism by which thyroid hormones alter the ferritin concentration is not well known. Therefore, the present case-control study was designed to determine the changes due to hyperthyroidism in serum ferritin, iron and transferrin levels and to investigate the inter-relationship between these parameters.

Material: This study was conducted on 50 newly diagnosed hyperthyroid patients and the results were compared with 50 age and sex matched healthy controls. Serum ferritin was assessed by two site sandwich immunoassay using direct chemiluminometric technology. TIBC and serum iron were estimated by colorimetric method.

Results: Serum ferritin (314.43 ± 68.7 ng/mL) and iron concentration (159.88 ± 36.28 µg/dL) were found to be increased in hyperthyroid patients as compared to healthy controls (255.23 ± 45.5 ng/mL and 110.52 ± 20.52 µg/dL respectively). There was a significant difference between hyperthyroid patients and healthy controls in serum levels of ferritin and iron (p<0.05 for both). Serum ferritin and iron were correlated significantly positive with thyroid parameters while a significant negative correlation was found with transferrin.

Conclusion: Our data suggest that alterations in thyroid status in a given individual produce significant changes in serum ferritin, iron and transferrin levels. Increased ferritin levels seem to be protective against increased oxidative stress seen in hyperthyroidism but these also increase atherosclerotic risk. However, a large scale study is recommended to establish the fact.


Hyperthyroidism; total triiodothyronine; total thyroxine; thyroid stimulating hormone; ferritin

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