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March 25, 1983

Thyroid Failure and Protirelin (Thyrotropin-Releasing Hormone) Test Abnormalities in Depressed Outpatients

Author Affiliations

From the Psychiatic Diagnostic Laboratories of America (Dr Gold) and the Clinical Research Facilities (Drs Sternbach, Gold, Pottash, and Extein), Fair Oaks Hospital, Summit, NJ.

JAMA. 1983;249(12):1618-1620. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330360058037

Forty-four consecutive outpatients referred to a psychiatric hospital for evaluation of depression and anergia were assessed by means of the protirelin (thyrotropin-releasing hormone) test. Nineteen patients (43%) had a blunted thyrotropin (TSH) response to protirelin, while six patients (13.5%) had augmented TSH responses indicating some degree of hypothyroidism. One patient had a low thyroxine level, while three patients had elevated basal TSH levels. Five of the six patients with augmented TSH responses were found to have antithyroid antibodies. These results suggest that a majority of depressed outpatients have abnormalities on the protirelin test and that the TSH response to protirelin is useful in both confirming a diagnosis of major depression and assessing thyroid status.

(JAMA 1983;249:1618-1620)