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Swiss Med Wkly. 2012 Sep 17;142:w13669. doi: 10.4414/smw.2012.13669. eCollection 2012.

Thyroid function and serum electrolytes: does an association really exist?

Author information

1
Department of Nephrology, Medical University of Graz, Austria.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Thyroid hormone is a central regulator of body functions. Disorders of thyroid function are considered to be a cause of electrolyte disorders. Only few data on the association between thyroid function and electrolyte disorders exists.

METHODS:

In the present retrospective analysis data from all patients admitted to the Department of Emergency Medicine of a university hospital who had measurements of thyroid function (TSH, fT(3), fT(4)) and electrolytes were included.

RESULTS:

9,012 patients with measurement of TSH and electrolytes were available. 86% of patients had normal, 4% suppressed and 10% elevated TSH. Serum sodium was significantly lower in patients with high TSH levels (p <0.01). There was a significant correlation between serum TSH and phosphate level (p <0.05). Phosphate levels were higher in patients with elevated TSH than in patients with normal TSH (p <0.01). Serum calcium and magnesium correlated significantly with TSH (p <0.05). fT(3) levels correlated significantly with calcium (p <0.05). Hyponatraemia was present in 14% of patients with high TSH and was significantly more common than in the group with normal TSH levels of which 9% had hyponatraemia (p <0.01). Hypokalaemia was more common in the group with elevated TSH than in those with normal TSH (14 versus 11%, p = 0.016). Hyperkalaemia was more common in the group with high TSH levels (7%) than in those with normal TSH (7 vs. 4%, p <0.01).

CONCLUSION:

An association between thyroid function and electrolyte disorders seems to exist, although it is probably only relevant in marked hypo-/hyperthyroidism.

PMID:
22987514
DOI:
10.4414/smw.2012.13669
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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