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Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH)

What Affects the Test

Reasons you may not be able to have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:

  • Taking medicine, such as corticosteroids, levodopa, heparin, dopamine, or lithium (such as Lithobid).
  • Having had a recent X-ray with iodine dye or test using radioactive materials.
  • Having severe stress or a long-term (chronic) illness.

What To Think About

  • The thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) test is the best screening test for conditions that can affect the thyroid gland.
  • The results of a TSH test should be considered along with the results of thyroid hormone tests, especially thyroxine (T4) results. To learn more about T3 and T4 testing, see the topic Thyroid Hormone Tests.

Citations

  1. Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009). Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Other Works Consulted

  • Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009). Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

  • Pagana KD, Pagana TJ (2010). Mosby’s Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests, 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerMatthew I. Kim, MD - Endocrinology
Last RevisedApril 5, 2012
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 05, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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