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J Endocrinol Invest. 2005 Apr;28(4):346-9.

Thyroid function differently affects serum cystatin C and creatinine concentrations.

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Department of Endocrinology, University of Pisa, Ospedale di Cisanello, Italy.


Cystatin C (Cys C) is a cysteine protease inhibitor produced at a constant rate by nucleated cells, filtered through the glomerular membrane and reabsorbed by kidney tubular cells. Aim of this cross-sectional and longitudinal study was to assess serum Cys C and creatinine (Crea) concentrations in thyroid dysfunction. One hundred and eighty-one patients, 26 with untreated non-toxic nodular goiter, 58 with hyperthyroidism, 31 on L-T4 suppressive therapy for non-toxic nodular goiter, 35 with short-term hypothyroidism after L-T4 withdrawal to perform whole body scan for thyroid cancer, 11 with long-term hypothyroidism due to chronic autoimmune thyroiditis and 20 patients with mild hypothyroidism were enrolled in the study. Fifty-seven age- and sex-matched normal subjects served as controls. Serum Cys C, Crea, free T4 (FT4), FT3 and TSH were assessed. Thirty hyperthyroid patients and 35 short-term hypothyroid patients were followed prospectively until euthyroidism was reached by methimazole or L-T4 therapy. The cross-sectional study showed that mean serum Crea concentrations were significantly reduced in overt hyperthyroid or subclinical hyperthyroid patients, while it was increased in overt hypothyroid patients, but not in mild hypothyroidism. Conversely, serum Cys C levels were significantly increased in overt hyperthyroid patients compared to controls (p<0.05), and significantly decreased in short-term, long-term and mild hypothyroids (p<0.05, p<0.05, p<0.01, respectively). However, 36 (62%) hyperthyroid patients and 50 (76%) hypothyroid patients had normal serum Cys C values. In the prospective study, restoration of euthyroidism by either methimazole or L-T4 therapy was associated with normalization of mean serum Cys C concentrations. In conclusion, thyroid dysfunction affects serum Cys C concentration, possibly influencing the production rate of the protein. However, the observation that hyper- or hypothyroid patients have normal serum Cys C levels limits its use as a marker of peripheral thyroid hormone effect.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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