Desiccated Thyroid and l-Triiodothyronine Administration in Hypometabolism Without Thyroidal Deficiency

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NINETEEN patients having hypometabolism of nonthyroidal origin were studied to compare the therapeutic effects of desiccated thyroid and l-triiodothyronine. The ages of the patients ranged from 8 to 49 years. There were 6 females and 13 males.


The incidence of symptoms was as follows: obesity, 17 patients; fatigue, 10; drowsiness, 7; loss of hair and dry coarse hair, 3; suspicion of retarded sexual development, 3; mild mental depression, 2; headache, 2; hoarseness, 2; intolerance to cold, 1 patient; muscular and joint pain, 1; mild oligomenorrhea, 1; edema, 1. The relationship between the most common symptoms, obesity and fatigue, and the hypometabolism is not clear. They may appear as the most frequent symptoms in these patients only because they were the complaints that prompted the ordering of a metabolism test. The hypometabolism may have aggravated a tendency to obesity but apparently did not cause the fatigue.

The symptoms in these patients are of little value in ascertaining whether nonthyroidal hypometabolism or true hypothyroidism is present. Consequently, determinations of serum protein-bound iodine (PBI) concentrations, serum cholesterol concentrations, and thyroidal radioiodine (I131)-uptake values were done.

Laboratory Findings Before Treatment

Basal metabolic rates ranged between —15 and —30. Sixteen of the 19 patients had basal metabolic rates of —20 or lower.

Serum cholesterol concentrations ranged from 104 to 257 mg. per 100 ml., the average being 178 mg. per 100 ml.

Serum PBI concentrations were determined in 16 of the patients. The values ranged between 4.0 and 9.0 μg. per 100 ml., the . . .



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