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Thyroid UK
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Blood Test T4 not tested

I got the results of my annual blood test, TSH was fine but there was no result for the T4. I queried this and was told that GP/hospital do not test T4 any more as there was a problem obtaining the solution it was tested with.They also said they had not tested T4 for the past two years. This was not true as I have my previous results.Can anyone shed any light on this?

4 Replies

I had my T4 tested only 2 weeks ago. Like most surgeries, they live and die by the TSH test and often if the doctor asks for FT4, or worse FT3, the labs won't do them if your TSH is in range and sometimes not even then. Its a rather strange reason the GP/labs have given for not testing T4 - sounds a bit suspect to me. Assuming it was an NHS lab, it beggars belief that in 2 years they have been unable to obtain the 'solution'.

The only way I can get FT4 and FT3 tested is when my doctor writes on the envelope 'requested by endocrinologist' - that seems to do the trick.


I'd phone the lab and see what they say. If they give you the same not tested in 2 years line, then you can give them the dates they did test within this time. Sounds a bit suspect to me.

Although it is often at the labs discretion on whether they test or not. most will test T4 on request but refuse T3, but there are some labs that test TSH only if in range


Hi I'm in a similar situation - the hospital consultant I recently saw for an unrelated medical condition ordered TSH and T4 and whilst in 'normal' range the T4 was at the bottom of the range. The GP decided to re-order the tests (using a different lab and asking me to get bloods taken in the morning as the other had been late afternoon) but when the results came through only the TSH had been tested (also within normal range). I'm seeing another GP soon so will be raising the issue.

I suspect that it was the lab that decided whether or not to proceed with T4 based on the TSH results. Maybe the hospital lab carried out the doctor's orders because he is a consultant not a mere GP.

It does anger me that labs are in control and not the doctors (then again, neither are the doctors, given the ridiculous regime they have to adhere to).

Will see what the GP says and compare notes with you!


The Labs seem to be the 'Boss' on testing- probably due to costs and manpower. Many tests are automated but some my tie the equipment up for longer - or need costly human intervention.

Due to the low profile UAT has, it's no surprise that the Labs strike here, with their highly technical, incisive and medically suspect knives :(

The Drs seem unable to respond. One GP who has moved on now, said understandingly -'It's OK, the lab boss is retiring soon'.

Even part time, the old school still 'rool'.

The GPs are probably told not to overule the labs or face the local PCT 'mafia'- but they probably have the medical right to insist on any test, but don't care to exercise this.

Rather like the 'NDT ban', for most frustrated sufferers who would like to try it out!


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