Plasma Norepinephrine, Epinephrine, and Thyroid Hormone Interactions in Severely Burned Patients

Richard A. Becker, MD; George M. Vaughan, MC, USA; Cleon W. Goodwin Jr, MC, USA; Michael G. Ziegler, MD; Timothy S. Harrison, MD; Arthur D. Mason Jr, MD; Basil A. Pruitt, MC, USA
Arch Surg. 1980;115(4):439-443. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1980.01380040067012.
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• In this prospective study of thyroid catecholamine interactions, 15 severely burned patients were divided into two groups. Nine patients receiving 200 μg/day of triiodothyronine constituted the T3-treated group. Eight additional patients constituted the untreated group. Mean serum concentrations of T3 were significantly lower in the untreated group than in the treated group. Mean serum thyroxine (T4) concentrations were significantly higher in the untreated group than in the treated group. The mean plasma norepinephrine concentration in the untreated group was significantly greater than that of the treated group. In the untreated group, log plasma norepinephrine correlated inversely with serum T3. Similarly, in the untreated group, log plasma epinephrine correlated inversely with serum T3. Metabolic rates were not different between groups. These data suggest that a reciprocal relationship exists between plasma concentrations of T3 and both norepinephrine and epinephrine in untreated burn patients and that treatment with the metabolically active hormone, triiodothyronine, does not alter the level of hypermetabolism accompanying thermal injury.

(Arch Surg 115:439-443, 1980)


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