Author(s): Forfar JC, Miller HC, Toft AD
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Abstract Serum total thyroxine, triiodothyronine and thyrotropin response to thyrotropin-releasing hormone were measured in 75 consecutive patients presenting to a cardiology clinic with atrial fibrillation with no obvious cardiovascular cause. A lack of response of serum thyrotropin to thyrotropin-releasing hormone, indicative of thyrotoxicosis, was found in 10 patients (13 percent), not all whom had raised serum thyroid hormone levels. These 10 patients were predominantly male, had no clinical signs of thyrotoxicosis and a relative excess of nonpalpable autonomous thyroid nodules demonstrated with scintigraphy. Eight of the 10 patients had reversion to stable sinus rhythm after treatment with iodine-131 or carbimazole, either spontaneously or after direct current cardioversion. It would appear that clinically occult thyrotoxicosis can be identified consistently only with the thyrotropin-releasing hormone test and is the cause of "idiopathic" atrial fibrillation in a significant proportion of patients.
This article was published in Am J Cardiol
and referenced in Biology and Medicine