Dried Blood Spot Thyroglobulin as a Biomarker of Iodine Status in Pregnant Women

Authors : Stinca S, Andersson M, Weibel S, Herter-Aeberli I, Fingerhut R, Gowachirapant S, Hess SY, Jaiswal N, Jukic T, Kusic Z, Mabapa NS, Nepal AK, San Luis TO, Zhen JQ, Zimmermann MB

Publication Year : 2017

Abstract :


Thyroglobulin (Tg) could be a sensitive biomarker of iodine nutrition in pregnant women (PW). A dried blood spot (DBS) assay would simplify collection and transport in field studies.


Our aims were to (1) establish and test a reference range for DBS-Tg in PW; (2) determine whether co-measurement of Tg antibodies (Abs) is necessary to define population iodine status.


Standardized cross-sectional studies of 3870 PW from 11 countries. For the DBS-Tg reference range, we included TgAb-negative PW (n = 599) from 3 countries with sufficient iodine intake.


We measured the urinary iodine concentration and DBS thyroid-stimulating hormone, total thyroxin, Tg, and TgAb.


In the reference population, the median DBS-Tg was 9.2 µg/L (95% confidence interval, 8.7 to 9.8 µg/L) and was not significantly different among trimesters. The reference range was 0.3 to 43.5 µg/L. Over a range of iodine intake, the Tg concentrations were U-shaped. Within countries, the median DBS-Tg and the presence of elevated DBS-Tg did not differ significantly between all PW and PW who were TgAb-negative.


A median DBS-Tg of ~10 µg/L with less than 3% of values greater than or equal to 44 µg/L indicated population iodine sufficiency. Concurrent measurement of TgAb did not appear necessary to assess the population iodine status.