Reversible primary hypothyroidism and elevated serum iodine level in patients with renal dysfunction

in European Journal of Endocrinology
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Recovery of thyroid function in patients with both thyroid and renal dysfunction was studied. Among 245 patients with primary hypothyroidism (serum TSH >10 mU/l), 36 had mild to severe renal dysfunction (serum urea nitrogen >7.1 mmol/l and creatinine >106 μmol/l). Of these 36 patients, recovery of the thyroid function after iodine restriction was observed in 30(83%), in whom an elevated serum non-hormonal iodine level (median 236, range 67–15591 μg/l, N=19) and a high thyroidal radioactive iodine uptake (51.5±29.3%at24h, N = 26) were observed. The perchlorate discharge test was positive in 7 of 13 patients examined, suggesting an iodide organification defect rather than an atrophic or destructive change in the thyroid. Antithyroid antibodies were negative in 22 patients (73%) and an almost normal thyroid gland or colloid goitre was confirmed histologically in 8 of them. After a 13.2 mg potassium iodide loading test, 24 h urinary excretion of iodine was about 60% in normal controls, but only 10% in a different group of six euthyroid patients with renal dysfunction. These findings suggest that impaired renal handling of iodine rather than autoimmune mechanism may have a significant role in the pathogenesis of reversible hypothyroidism found in patients with renal dysfunction, probably through a prolonged Wolff-Chaikoff effect.

 

     European Society of Endocrinology