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Ann Clin Biochem. 2006 Nov;43(Pt 6):431-40.

Thyroid hormone resistance.

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Department of Endocrinology, Buckinghamshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Aylesbury, Bucks HP21 8AL, UK.


Resistance to thyroid hormone (RTH) is a rare autosomal dominant inherited syndrome of reduced end-organ responsiveness to thyroid hormone. Patients with RTH have elevated serum free thyroxine (FT4) and free triiodothyronine (FT3) concentrations and normal or slightly elevated serum thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level. Despite a variable clinical presentation, the common characteristic clinical features are goitre but an absence of the usual symptoms and metabolic consequences of thyroid hormone excess. Patients with RTH can be classified on clinical grounds alone into either generalized resistance (GRTH), pituitary resistance (PRTH) or combined. Mutations in the thyroid hormone receptor (TR) beta gene are responsible for RTH and 122 different mutations have now been identified belonging to 300 families. With the exception of one family found to have complete deletion of the TRbeta gene, all others have been demonstrated to have minor alterations at the DNA level. The differential diagnosis includes a TSH-secreting pituitary adenoma and the presence of endogenous antibodies directed against thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Failure to differentiate RTH from primary thyrotoxicosis has resulted in the inappropriate treatment of nearly one-third of patients. Although occasionally desirable, no specific treatment is available for RTH; however, the diagnosis allows appropriate genetic counselling.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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