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Clin Cornerstone. 2005;7 Suppl 2:S9-15.

Potential uses of T3 in the treatment of human disease.

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Department of Medicine, North Shore University Hospital, Manhasset, New York, USA.


Treatments for hypothyroidism have been available since the late 19th century, and have been continually improved by advancing our understanding of thyroid hormone pharmacology. Thyroxine (T4) monotherapy is currently the standard of care, but may leave some hypothyroid symptoms unaddressed. Triiodothyronine (T3), formed by the monodeiodination of T4, is the biologically active form of thyroid hormone based upon its ability to regulate gene expression at the nuclear level. A variety of human and animal studies have raised the question of whether T4 monotherapy is sufficient to restore tissue and organ intracellular T3 levels to normal. Furthermore, some evidence, albeit controversial, suggests that the addition of T3 (Cytomel) to T4 replacement therapy may improve patients' quality of life, psychometric performance and mood. Further developmental work is needed to refine T3 therapy in a way to enhance efficacy and lower the potential for unwanted effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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