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.