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Serum Triiodothyronine and Other Clinical and Laboratory Indices of Alcoholic Liver Disease

P. G. WALFISH, M.D.; H. ORREGO, M.D.; Y. ISRAEL, Ph.D.; J. BLAKE, M.Sc.; and H. KALANT, M.D., Ph.D.
[+] Article and Author Information

This work was supported by a grant from the Addiction Research Foundation of Ontario.

This paper was presented in part at the 9th Annual Meeting of the European Thyroid Association, Berlin, West Germany, 4-8 September 1978, and published as an abstract in Ann Endocrinol (Paris). 1978; T-39 (suppl):13A.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to P. G. Walfish, M.D.; Mount Sinai Hospital, Suite 639-640, 600 University Avenue; Toronto, ON M5G 1X5, Canada.


Toronto, Canada


© 1979 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1979;91(1):13-16. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-91-1-13
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Admission serum triiodothyronine (T3) values in 124 patients hospitalized for alcoholic liver disease were correlated with clinical and laboratory indices of liver function and commonly used determinants of thyroid function. Patients with low admission serum T3 levels had significant alterations in serum albumin, bilirubin, prothrombin time, and alkaline phosphatase associated with clinical signs of portal hypertension and collateral circulation, with little difference in serum glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase, serum gamma glutamyl transpeptidase, or serum ornithine carbamyl transferase. This group also had a significant decrease in free T3 index despite an increase in T3 uptake; the slight reduction in total thyroxine (T4) was associated with an increase in free T4 index and no change in serum thyrotropin (TSH). For patients with alcoholic liver disease, low admission serum T3 and free T3 index values when accompanied by normal serum T4, free T4 index, and TSH levels appear to be indicative of severe liver dysfunction and increased mortality risk.

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