Evidence of the need for T3, in at least some hypothyroid patients, seems to be pouring in these days.
Getting that translated into receiving combination T4/T3 treatment seem as far away as ever - and disappearing all too fast.
Systemic Thyroid Hormone Status During Levothyroxine Therapy In Hypothyroidism: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Elizabeth A McAninch, M.D Kumar B Rajan, Ph.D Corinne H Miller, M.L.I.S Antonio C Bianco, M.D., Ph.D
The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, jc.2018-01361, doi.org/10.1210/jc.2018-01361
15 August 2018
The standard of care for overt hypothyroidism is levothyroxine at doses that normalize serum TSH levels. Whether this approach universally restores thyroid hormone signaling is unknown.
To review studies of overt hypothyroidism in which participants were treated with levothyroxine to normalize serum TSH levels and measured other objective markers of thyroid hormone signaling.
Databases were searched for studies that reported objective markers of thyroid hormone signaling (serum low-density lipoprotein (LDL), total cholesterol (TC), sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), creatine kinase and/or ferritin levels; cognition, energy expenditure, and/or renal function) in levothyroxine monotherapy for overt, primary hypothyroidism among nonpregnant adults with normal serum TSH levels. For studies with LDL, TC and SHBG outcomes, data were pooled using random effects meta-analysis.
A total of 99 studies met inclusion criteria, including 65 that reported serum cholesterol data. Meta-analysis showed that levothyroxine-treated hypothyroid participants with normal serum TSH levels had 3.31 ± 1.64 mg/dL higher serum LDL levels (p=0.044) and 9.60 ± 3.55 mg/dL higher serum TC levels (p=0.007) compared to controls. In studies that did not concomitantly assess healthy controls, serum LDL levels were 138.3 ± 4.6 mg/dL (p<0.001) and serum TC levels were 209.6 ± 3.4 mg/dL (p<0.001). Meta-analysis of 2 studies showed no significant difference between SHBG levels of levothyroxine-treated participants and controls.
In studies that utilized levothyroxine monotherapy at doses that normalized the serum TSH for overt, primary hypothyroidism, not all systemic biological markers of thyroid hormone signaling were normalized, including serum LDL and TC levels.
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