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Figure 14-5 The upper panel illustrates the rapid changes that occur in serum total binding capacity of TBG during the first half of gestation under the influence of elevated estrogen levels. The lower panel shows that, in order to maintain unaltered free T4 levels, the markedly increased TBG extra-cellular pool must steadily be filled with increasing amounts of T4, until a new equilibrium is reached. This is achieved during pregnancy via an overall ~50% increase in thyroid hormone production.