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July 1975

Free Serum Thyroxine Level and Basal Metabolic Rate: Aids to Diagnosis in Malnutrition and Small-for-Gestational-Age Dwarfism

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Children's Hospital of Michigan, Detroit.

Am J Dis Child. 1975;129(7):830-834. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1975.02120440054011

Measurement of the basal metabolic rate (BMR) and the total and free serum thyroxine values in response to feeding are aids in the diagnosis of growth failure. Infants with small-for-gestational-age dwarfism gained weight poorly in the hospital, had a low BMR before and after spontaneous or induced weight gain, and a normal serum thyroxine value. Infants with linear growth failure due to chronic malnutrition had a normal BMR but a low serum thyroxine value that rose to normal with weight gain; infants with clinical signs of recent weight loss had a low BMR and a low serum thyroxine value, both of which rose to normal with weight gain. Increases of the BMR were sharp and very rapid; they preceded the rise of the serum thyroxine value in some cases.

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