Abstract. The osmoregulation of arginine-8-vasopressin (AVP) was investigated in 14 patients with primary hypothyroidism and in 6 with Addison's disease. Plasma AVP was measured by radioimmunoassay. Patients with primary hypothyroidism were classified into subgroups with elevated (6.81 ± 1.12 pmol/l) or normal (3.92 ± 0.96 pmol/l) basal levels of plasma AVP. Following the infusion of 2.5% saline, a positive correlation was established between plasma AVP and plasma osmolality. A decreased osmotic threshold was found in hypothyroid patients with augmented basal AVP levels (pAVP = 0.37 (pOs-265), r = 0.71, P < 0.01) as compared with that in hypothyroid patients with a normal AVP level (pAVP = 0.42 (pOs-280), r = 0.93, P < 0.001). A relationship was demonstrated between the alteration in the AVP osmoregulation and the severity of the thyroid insufficiency. Patients with Addison's disease exhibited an increased basal level of plasma AVP (9.59 ± 1.25 pmol/l) and a decreased osmotic threshold (pAVP = 0.42 (pOs-261), r = 0.63, P < 0.01) contrasted to that of healthy volunteers (pAVP = 0.41 (pOs-280), r = 0.83, P < 0.001).
The osmoregulation disturbance of the AVP secretion may play a major role in the impaired water metabolism in primary hypothyroidism and in Addison's disease.
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