The TSH-dependent variation of the essential elements iodine, selenium and zinc within human thyroid tissues.J Trace Elem Med Biol 1998; 12(3):177-82JT
Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis was used in order to measure iodine, selenium and zinc concentration in thyroid samples. A pair of samples of normal and nodular tissue were collected from the thyroid gland from 72 patients selected on the basis of pathological criteria (44 cases of multinodular goiter, 12 of chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis (CLT), 6 of thyroid adenoma (TA) and 12 of thyroid cancer (TC)). The check for tissue homogeneity and sampling error was performed by means of the coefficient of variation (CV%) of the elements in replicate samples of normal and altered tissues. High CV% values (> 15%) for iodine reflected a functional variability in thyroid follicles, while low CV% values (< 10%) for selenium and zinc indicated that the composition of selected tissues was rather homogeneous. The variation of the element's concentration was compared in normal and altered tissues. The mean element concentrations had values close to those already reported in the literature; furthermore, our patients had marginal iodine and selenium deficiency. Both normal and nodular tissues in CLT showed statistically significant lower zinc values as compared with the other thyroid diseases. To evaluate the thyroid function, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroxine (T4) levels were measured in the serum of patients. Two arbitrary serum-TSH threshold levels (TSH < 1.0 and > 4.0 mU/L) were introduced in order to classify, respectively, hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, as well as euthyroid conditions (1.0 < TSH < 4.0 mU/L), and each patient was assigned to one of these groups. The influence of TSH in the variation of the concentration of iodine, selenium and zinc in normal and altered human thyroid tissues was significant.