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January 2, 1981

Hypothyroxinemia in Critically III Patients as a Predictor of High Mortality

Author Affiliations

From the Endocrine-Metabolic (Drs Slag, Morley, and Nuttall) and Nuclear Medicine Sections (Drs Elson and Shafer), Minneapolis Veterans Administration Medical Center, and the Departments of Internal Medicine (Dr Crowson), St Paul Ramsey Medical Center (Dr Crowson) and the University of Minnesota (Drs Slag, Morley, Elson, Crowson, Nuttall, and Shafer), Minneapolis.

JAMA. 1981;245(1):43-45. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03310260021020

Thyroid function was measured in 86 patients hospitalized in an intensive care unit. Two patients were found to have primary hypothyroidism and were excluded from the study. Hypothyroxinemia with normal thyroidstimulating hormone (TSH) levels was found in 22% of the patients and was associated with a high mortality (thyroxine [T4] levels less than 3.0 μg/DL, 84% mortality; T4 levels of 3.0 to 5.0 γg/DL, 50% mortality; and T4 levels greater than 5.0 γg/DL, 15% mortality). There was a high correlation between low T4 levels and mortality.

(JAMA 1981;245:43-45)