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      Effects of Recombinant Human Thyrotropin on Heart Rate Variability and Blood Pressure in Patients on l-Thyroxine-Suppressive Therapy for Differentiated Thyroid Carcinoma

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          Background: Recombinant human thyrotropin (rhTSH) is now currently used for the follow-up of patients with differentiated thyroid carcinoma (DTC) after total thyroid ablation. Side effects after rhTSH could involve the autonomic system and TSH receptors are possibly expressed in the heart and coronary arteries. Methods:Heart rate variability (HRV), studied by power spectral analysis of low (LF) and high frequency (HF) powers, blood pressure (BP) and their responses to orthostatism were investigated before and 3, 6, 9 days after the first of two administrations of rhTSH on alternate days in 11 patients on chronic l-thyroxine (l-T4) suppressive therapy for DTC and in 31 healthy controls. Results: A transient asymptomatic decrease in systolic and mean BP was observed during the rhTSH test, but rhTSH did not modify sympathovagal control of HRV and the lying to standing responses. Decreased LF power and LF/(LF + HF) and LF/HF ratios in DTC patients versus healthy controls indicated a sympathetic failure ascribed to the TSH-suppressive therapy with l-T4 rather than to direct effects of rhTSH. Conclusions: These findings allowed us to confirm the cardiovascular safety of rhTSH and the absence of its effects on sympathovagal control of HRV when used in the follow-up of patients with normal heart function after thyroid ablation for DTC.

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          Most cited references 16

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          Recombinant human thyrotropin-stimulated serum thyroglobulin combined with neck ultrasonography has the highest sensitivity in monitoring differentiated thyroid carcinoma.

          Recombinant human TSH (rhTSH)-stimulated thyroglobulin (Tg) measurement and (131)I whole body scan (WBS) have been validated as informative tests in the postsurgical follow-up of differentiated thyroid carcinoma. We report the diagnostic accuracy of Tg measurement and diagnostic WBS, alone or in combination, after rhTSH stimulation in a retrospective, consecutive series of patients undergoing follow-up for differentiated thyroid cancer. Routine procedures also include neck ultrasound in every patient and post-therapy WBS when indicated. We studied 340 consecutive patients with differentiated thyroid carcinoma, previously treated with near-total thyroidectomy and (131)I thyroid ablation, scheduled for routine diagnostic tests. At baseline on L-T(4)-suppressive therapy, 294 patients had undetectable (<1 ng/ml) serum Tg and negative anti-Tg autoantibodies (TgAb), 25 patients had undetectable serum Tg and positive TgAb, and 21 patients had detectable serum Tg and negative TgAb. These patients were tested for the presence of active disease by rhTSH stimulation. The results of our study showed that rhTSH-stimulated Tg alone had a diagnostic sensitivity of 85% for detecting active disease and a negative predictive value (NPV) of 98.2%. After adding the results of neck ultrasound, sensitivity increased to 96.3%, and the NPV to 99.5%. rhTSH-stimulated WBS had a sensitivity of only 21% and a NPV of 89%. The combination of rhTSH-stimulated Tg and WBS had a sensitivity of 92.7% and a NPV of 99%. We conclude that the rhTSH-stimulated Tg test combined with neck ultrasonography has the highest diagnostic accuracy in detecting persistent disease in the follow-up of differentiated thyroid carcinoma. A detectable level of serum Tg on L-T(4), its conversion from undetectable to detectable after rhTSH, and/or a suspicious finding at ultrasound will allow the identification of patients requiring therapeutic procedures without the need for diagnostic WBS.
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            Nitric oxide in primary headaches.

            The molecular mechanisms that underlie the primary headaches-migraine, cluster headache and tension-type headache-have not yet been clarified. On the basis of studies in headache induced by intravenous infusions of glyceryl trinitrate (an exogenous nitric oxide donor) and histamine (which liberates nitric oxide from vascular endothelium), it has been suggested that nitric oxide is a likely candidate responsible molecule. The present review deals with the biology of this small messenger molecule, and the updated scientific evidence that suggests a key role for this molecule in primary headaches. This evidence suggests that the release of nitric oxide from blood vessels, perivascular nerve endings or from brain tissue is an important molecular trigger mechanism in spontaneous headache pain. Pilot trials have shown efficacy of a nitric oxide synthase inhibitor in both migraine attacks and chronic tension-type headache. These observations suggest new approaches to the pharmacological treatment of headache.
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              Cardiovascular haemodynamics and cardiac autonomic control in patients with subclinical and overt hyperthyroidism.

              To characterize cardiac structure and function and cardiac autonomic control in patients with subclinical and overt hyperthyroidism. Thirty patients with subclinical hyperthyroidism and 30 with overt disease were selected from patients never previously treated for endocrinological disease in the outpatient clinic of our institution. Twenty normal individuals were studied as control group. Left ventricular structure and function and cardiac autonomic control were evaluated, respectively, by two-dimensional Doppler echocardiography and by 24-h Holter recording with heart rate variability analysis. Patients with overt hyperthyroidism showed greater values of left ventricular end-diastolic volume (P<0.05) and left ventricular mass (P<0.05) than patients with subclinical disease. In addition, the mean velocity of left ventricular fibre shortening (P<0.05) and left ventricular ejection fraction (P<0.05) were greater in patients with overt hyperthyroidism than in patients with subclinical disease. No difference in any of these parameters was detectable between normal subjects and patients with subclinical disease. The isovolumic relaxation period was shorter in patients with subclinical hyperthyroidism than in control individuals (P<0.05) and in patients with overt hyperthyroidism (P<0.05). As regards cardiac autonomic control, all time and frequency domain measures decreased progressively from control individuals to patients with subclinical hyperthyroidism and those with overt disease (P<0.001). Thyrotoxic patients show changes in left ventricular structure and increased echocardiographic indexes of myocardial contractility, whereas the only echocardiographic feature detectable in patients with subclinical hyperthyroidism is an increased velocity of left ventricular relaxation. Cardiac parasympathetic withdrawal is evident in patients with overt hyperthyroidism and in patients with subclinical disease.

                Author and article information

                Horm Res Paediatr
                Hormone Research in Paediatrics
                S. Karger AG
                October 2005
                13 October 2005
                : 64
                : 2
                : 100-106
                aDepartment of Endocrinological and Metabolic Sciences, University of Genova and bOccupational Medicine Service, San Martino Hospital, Genova, Italy
                88429 Horm Res 2005;64:100–106
                © 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 3, References: 26, Pages: 7
                Original Paper


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