Effect of thyrotropin-releasing hormone on serum thyroid hormones: a study in the patients with untreated and treated Graves' disease and subacute thyroiditis.J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1995 Jul; 80(7):2173-7.JC
In order to investigate the extrapituitary action of TRH on the thyroid, serum T3, T4, and TSH levels after im administration of TRH were analyzed in 63 patients with untreated hyperthyroid Graves' disease, in 60 euthyroid patients with treated Graves' disease, in 8 patients with subacute thyroiditis, and in 140 healthy subjects. TRH administration in the healthy subjects resulted in a significant increase in serum T3 and T4 levels after 2 h. However, in the patients with untreated hyperthyroid Graves' disease, a significant decrease in serum T3 and T4 levels with undetectable TSH was found 2 h after TRH administration. In the patients with subacute thyroiditis, serum T3 levels also significantly decreased after TRH administration. When a decrease in serum T3 and T4 levels after TRH administration in the patients with hyperthyroid Graves' disease was analyzed in terms of thyroid microsomal antibody and thyroglobulin antibody, a decrease in serum T3 and T4 levels was largest in patients with thyroid microsomal antibody and thyroglobulin antibody. In contrast, an increase in serum T3 and T4 levels in response to TRH in the euthyroid patients with Graves' disease was largest in patients without thyroid autoantibodies. It is concluded that TRH acts directly on the thyroid to suppress the thyroid hormone secreting activity in the absence of circulating TSH and that thyroid autoantibodies affect thyroidal response after TRH administration.