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Article |

Thyroid Failure and Protirelin (Thyrotropin-Releasing Hormone) Test Abnormalities in Depressed Outpatients

Harvey A. Sternbach, MD; Mark S. Gold, MD; A. Carter Pottash, MD; Irl Extein, MD
JAMA. 1983;249(12):1618-1620. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330360058037.
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Forty-four consecutive outpatients referred to a psychiatric hospital for evaluation of depression and anergia were assessed by means of the protirelin (thyrotropin-releasing hormone) test. Nineteen patients (43%) had a blunted thyrotropin (TSH) response to protirelin, while six patients (13.5%) had augmented TSH responses indicating some degree of hypothyroidism. One patient had a low thyroxine level, while three patients had elevated basal TSH levels. Five of the six patients with augmented TSH responses were found to have antithyroid antibodies. These results suggest that a majority of depressed outpatients have abnormalities on the protirelin test and that the TSH response to protirelin is useful in both confirming a diagnosis of major depression and assessing thyroid status.

(JAMA 1983;249:1618-1620)


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