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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1990 Feb;70(2):534-9.

Osmoregulation of plasma vasopressin in myxedema.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Nagoya University School of Medicine, Japan.


We studied osmoregulation of plasma vasopressin (AVP) in eight patients with untreated myxedema due to primary hypothyroidism. All patients had severe thyroid hormone deficiency due to chronic thyroiditis and had been receiving no medication at the time of this study. AVP release was defined by 5% hypertonic saline infusion test in all patients, and urinary diluting capacity was estimated by the iv water-loading tests in five patients. Plasma AVP was measured by sensitive and specific RIA. The mean basal plasma AVP level in the patients (0.5 +/- 0.1 pmol/L) was significantly lower (P less than 0.01) than that in normal adults (2.5 +/- 0.5 pmol/L). During hypertonic saline infusion, the rise in plasma AVP was normal or subnormal in all patients. In two patients who showed mild to moderate hyponatremia in the basal state and mild urinary diluting defect during water loading, plasma AVP was appropriately suppressed in each case. These results indicate that inappropriate elevation of plasma AVP is not common in myxedema, and that impaired water excretion is due mainly to AVP-independent mechanisms.

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