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October 1979

Serum Thyroid Hormone Levels in Patients With Liver Disease

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Medicine, Harbor/UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, Calif (Dr Hepner), and UCLA Center for Health Sciences, Los Angeles (Dr Chopra).

Arch Intern Med. 1979;139(10):1117-1120. doi:10.1001/archinte.1979.03630470033013

Levels of serum triiodothyronine (T3), reverse triiodothyronine (rT3), and thyroxine (T4) were determined in 29 patients with alcoholic cirrhosis, seven patients with acute hepatitis, and 14 control patients hospitalized for chronic disease. Serum T3 levels were decreased significantly and serum rT3 levels increased significantly in the patients with alcoholic cirrhosis. Serum T3 and T4 levels were lower and rT3 levels higher in the cirrhotic patients who died within three months of the study compared with those who survived. A combination of prothrombin time, aminopyrine breath test results, and rT3 and T3 determinations gave significant predictive information about survival in patients with cirrhosis. The data suggest that assay of serum thyroid hormone levels together with prothrombin time and the aminopyrine breath test may be helpful in assessing the course and prognosis of patients with liver disease.

(Arch Intern Med 139:1117-1120, 1979)

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