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Effects of triiodothyronine administration in patients with chronic renal failure


Clinically euthyroid patients with severe, chronic, non-thyroidal illnesses usually have decreased serum total and absolute free T3 concentrations. Since T3 is the metabolically more active of the two thyroid hormones, it has been suggested that these patients may be hypothyroid and thus may benefit from T3 therapy. To test this hypothesis, five patients with chronic renal failure requiring maintenance haemodialysis were treated with 5 microgram T3 eight hourly, increasing at three weekly intervals to 10 microgram eight hourly, 20 microgram eight hourly and finally 30 microgram eight hourly. The mean +/- SD serum T3 level did not change over the 12 week period (1.42 +/- 0.17 vs. 1.41 +/- 0.26 nmoll-1 whilst the mean serum T4 and TSH levels fell from 87.0 +/- 15.2 to 47.5 +/- 18.8 nmoll-1 and 1.9 +/- 0.9 to 1.3 +/- 1.6 mUl-1 respectively. Only the change in T4 levels was significant (P less than 0.005). A significant decrease in mean serum T4 levels was apparent even after the treatment period with 5 microgram T3 eight hourly (87.0 +/- 15.2 vs. 51.2 +/- 15.7; P less than 0.005). The mean fasting serum triglyceride level fell from 1.16 +/- 0.74 to 0.94 +/- 0.74 mmoll-1 (P less than 0.05) and the mean fasting serum cholesterol level fell from 6.06 +/- 1.13 to 4.69 +/- 1.10 mmoll-1 (P less than 0.05). There were no subjective improvements in any of the patients. From the marked changes in serum T4 levels during the administration of T3, it is concluded that, prior to treatment, the patients were biochemically euthyroid and not hypothyroid and thus did not require T3 therapy.

Type Journal
ISBN 0004-8291 (Print)
Authors Carter, J. N.;Eastman, C. J.;Corcoran, J. M.;Lazarus, L. :
Publisher Name Aust N Z J Med
Published Date 1977-01-01
Published Volume 7
Published Issue 6
Published Pages 612-6
Status Published in-print
URL link to publisher's version