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Ultrasound Med Biol. 2004 Jan;30(1):19-25.

Alterations in thyroid Doppler arterial resistance indices, volume and hormones in cirrhosis: relationships with splanchnic haemodynamics.

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  • 1Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Azienda Ospedaliera and University of Padua, Padua, Italy.


The hypothesis of thyroid involvement in the haemodynamic alterations of cirrhosis was evaluated. We measured thyroid volume (thrV), free triiodiothyronine (FT3), free thyroxin (FT4), thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), resistance index (thrRI) and pulsatility index (thrPI) in the inferior thyroid artery in 45 cirrhotic patients of different aetiologies and Child class, and in 13 healthy subjects. Portal vein velocity, flow, diameter and hepatic, splenic, and renal arterial resistance indices were also evaluated. ThrV was increased in Child-C patients (p < 0.05). FT3 was decreased in cirrhotic patients (p < 0.05), TSH and FT4 were not different. ThrPI and thrRI were increased in cirrhotic patients (thrPI: 1.01 +/- 0.15 vs. 0.81 +/- 0.11; thrRI: 0.62 +/- 0.05 vs. 0.53 +/- 0.04; p < 0.01) and were inversely correlated with FT3 (p < 0.05), and directly correlated with hepatic, splenic and renal resistance indices (p < 0.01). In conclusion, thyroid is involved, primarily and secondarily, in the haemodynamic alterations of cirrhosis; a reduction in vasodilator FT3 may play a role in the pathophysiology.

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