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J Endocrinol Invest. 1990 Feb;13(2):155-9.

Concentrations of somatomedin-C and triiodothyronine in patients with thyroid dysfunction and nonthyroidal illnesses.

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  • 1Third Department of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Finland.


We studied the possibility of an association between serum somatomedin-C (Sm-C) and thyroid hormone concentrations. For this purpose 34 hyperthyroid patients, 39 patients with primary hypothyroidism, 36 patients with severe nonthyroidal illnesses (NTI), and 63 euthyroid healthy control subjects were examined. The mean concentration of serum dialyzable free triiodothyronine (FT3) was 26.6 +/- 15.4 pmol/l (+/- SD) in hyperthyroidism, 2.8 +/- 1.2 in hypothyroidism, 4.2 +/- 1.1 in NTI, and 5.3 +/- 0.7 in controls. The lowest mean concentration of serum Sm-C (10.1 +/- 3.0 nmol/l) was found in the NTI group and the highest in the hyperthyroid group (16.8 +/- 3.2): these concentrations differed significantly from the mean control level (12.2 +/- 2.2). In NTI patients the serum FT3 and T3 levels correlated significantly with the serum Sm-C levels (r = 0.63; p less than 0.001, r = 0.65; p less than 0.001, respectively). In hypothyroid patients there was a weak correlation between the serum FT3 and Sm-C levels (r = 0.36; p less than 0.05), but no correlations were found in hyperthyroid and healthy subjects. We conclude that the lowered Sm-C levels in NTI do not reflect a hypothyroid state, as normal Sm-C levels were found in hypothyroidism, and that impaired nutritional state of the patients is the most likely explanation for the association between Sm-C and FT3 (and T3) in NTI.

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