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      3,3'-Diiodothyronine concentrations in the sera of patients with nonthyroidal illnesses and brain tumors and of healthy subjects during acute stress.

      The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism

      Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Brain Chemistry, Brain Injuries, blood, Brain Neoplasms, Diiodothyronines, analysis, Female, Humans, Liver Diseases, Male, Middle Aged, Reference Values, Sepsis, Stress, Physiological, Thyroid Diseases, Thyroid Hormones

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          In this article we describe the development of a highly sensitive, accurate, and reproducible RIA for the measurement of 3,3'-diiodothyronine (3,3'-T2) in human serum and brain tissue. The detection limits were 1.8 fmol/g and 1.5 pmol/L in human brain tissue and serum, respectively. Serum concentrations of 3,3'-T2 were measured in 4 groups of patients with nonthyroidal illnesses (NTI), i.e. brain injuries (n = 15), sepsis (n = 24), liver disease (n = 22), and brain tumors (n = 23). The mean serum concentration of 3,3'-T2 in 62 healthy controls was 46.6 +/- 20.0 pmol/L. 3,3'-T2 levels declined significantly with increasing age. They were significantly lower in patients with brain injury (34.2 +/- 19.4 pmol/L; P = 0.006), were at the upper limit of normal in patients with sepsis (57.0 +/- 36.9 pmol/L; P = 0.06), and were elevated in patients with liver disease (72.6 +/- 56.7 pmol/L; P = 0.04) and brain tumors (89.0 +/- 40.9 pmol/L; P = 0.01). The serum levels of T3 were significantly lower than those in controls in all 4 patient groups. Serum concentrations of 3,3'-T2 were significantly enhanced in 9 patients with hyperthyroidism (85.4 +/- 43.0 pmol/L; P = 0.01) and were reduced in 12 patients with hypothyroidism (14.9 +/- 9.2 pmol/L; P = 0.001). In both normal brain tissue, obtained either intraoperatively or excised postmortem, and brain tumors, the concentrations of 3,3'-T2 ranged between 50-300 fmol/g. In healthy controls, 2 different forms of acute stress (sleep deprivation and delivering a lecture) significantly increased serum levels of T4 and T3, but did not affect those of 3,3'-T2 or 3,5-T2. In conclusion, our results show that, contrary to expectation, a low T3 syndrome in NTI is not always associated with low serum concentrations of 3,3'-T2. The production of 3,3'-T2 in NTI seems to be regulated in a disease-specific manner, resulting in unchanged, reduced, or elevated hormone concentrations.

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