Thyrotropin secretion in patients with central hypothyroidism: evidence for reduced biological activity of immunoreactive thyrotropin

The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
G FagliaA Spada


TSH concentration was measured in plasma before and after TRH administration (200 micrograms, iv) in 89 patients with documented hypothyroidism consequent to various hypothalamic-pituitary disorders. Basal plasma TSH was less than 1.0 microI/ml in 34.8%, between 1.0-3.6 microU/ml in 40.5% and slightly elevated (3.7-9.7 microU/ml) in 24.7% of the cases. The plasma TSH response to TRH was absent in 13.5%, impaired in 16.8%, normal in 47.2%, and exaggerated in 22.5% of the cases, with delayed and/or prolonged pattern of response in 65% of the cases. The dilution curves of several plasmas drawn before and after TRH were parallel to those obtained with TSH standard preparation. After gel filtration, the elution pattern of TRH-stimulated plasmas from 4 patients did not show any major difference from that of pooled plasmas from normal subjects given TRH or from that of patients with primary hypothyroidism. Plasma TSH values determined by cytochemical bioassay on both basal and TRH-stimulated samples of 5 patients were markedly lower than those obtained by RIA. The serum T3 response to TRH was absent or low in 40 out of 53 patients in whom it was evaluated. The administration of T3 (100 micrograms/day for 3 days) or dexamethasone (3 mg...Continue Reading


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