April 1986

Acute Hemodynamic Effects of Levothyroxine Loading in Critically Ill Hypothyroid Patients

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Nephrology (Drs Kaptein, Quion-Verde, Egodage, and Massry) and the Medical Intensive Care Unit (Dr Swinney), Department of Medicine, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles.

Arch Intern Med. 1986;146(4):662-666. doi:10.1001/archinte.1986.00360160064008

• To evaluate the acute cardiovascular effects of high-dose levothyroxine sodium therapy, the hemodynamic findings in eight critically ill hypothyroid patients treated with high-dose levothyroxine were compared with those in two critically ill hypothyroid and nine critically ill euthyroid patients not receiving this therapy. The initial cardiac index was significantly lower in the hypothyroid group; all other hemodynamic values were similar to those of the euthyroid patients. Following levothyroxine loading, the free thyroxine index increased to normal while the free triiodothyronine index was unchanged; all patients had a significant rise in cardiac index but no consistent changes in the other hemodynamic values. Cardiac index correlated positively with heart rate (three patients) and/ or stroke volume index (six patients). Increases in stroke volume index correlated with decreases in systemic vascular resistance (five patients), but not with increases in pulmonary artery wedge pressure. No consistent patterns of hemodynamic changes were observed in the untreated hypothyroid or the euthyroid patients.

(Arch Intern Med 1986;146:662-666)