Diagnosis at Mayo Clinic

By Mayo Clinic Staff

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Mayo Clinic offers rapid, coordinated Graves' disease diagnostic testing and assessments by a team of skilled doctors, using the latest testing options. Graves' disease is generally diagnosed following a medical history review and physical exam, and confirmed with laboratory tests that assess your thyroid gland activity and thyroid hormone levels. If you have eye-related symptoms (Graves' ophthalmopathy), an imaging test may be used to examine your eyes and eye sockets.

  • Blood tests. Doctors use blood tests to determine if your thyroid gland functions normally, measuring levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). In some cases, they use a blood test to measure thyroid proteins (antibodies), including thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulin (TSI).
  • Radioactive iodine uptake. This test measures the rate at which your thyroid gland absorbs iodine in the bloodstream. If too much is absorbed, your body is producing too much T4.

Imaging tests

If you have eye-related symptoms (Graves' ophthalmopathy), your doctor may recommend one or both of these scans:

  • Computerized tomography (CT). A CT scan creates a computer-generated 2- or 3-dimensional image of your eye and eye sockets.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRI uses a magnetic field and radio waves to generate detailed images of your eyes.

Mayo Clinic has an international reputation for top-quality imaging and rapid test results. In tests that involve radiation, specialists carefully monitor doses to avoid the risk of radiation overexposure.

Jul. 07, 2011