Imperial Collage Healthcare

Alpha subunit

Test Background
The α-subunit is common to TSH, LH, FSH and hCG, while the β-subunit is specific to each hormone. The subunits are synthesised and secreted independently. The α-subunit is consistently elevated in cases of TSH secreting pituitary adenoma and its secretion is autonomous and refractory to the negative feedback of thyroid hormones.

Clinical Indications
TSH α-subunit assay is indicated for the differential diagnosis of thyroid hormone resistance and TSH-secreting pituitary adenomas (levels are normal in the former and elevated in the latter) Instances of unexplained hyperthyroidism

Reference Range
See report

Sample Required
Serum (red top)

Sample Volume
0.5 mL

Turnaround Time
Up to 6 weeks

Not currently performed in house; this is a referred test

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