Author(s): Biondi B, Palmieri EA, Lombardi G, Fazio S
Abstract Share this page
Abstract The cardiovascular system is sensitive to the action of thyroid hormone. However, although a wide spectrum of cardiac abnormalities has long been recognized in patients with overt thyroid dysfunction, the question of cardiac involvement in patients with subclinical thyroid dysfunction has been investigated only in the last two to three decades. Most clinical studies have shown that subclinical hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism is associated with changes in several cardiac parameters. More specifically, the literature on cardiac involvement in subclinical hypothyroidism consistently shows that patients have resting left ventricular diastolic dysfunction evidenced by delayed relaxation, and impaired systolic dysfunction on effort that results in poor exercise capacity. Whether or not subclinical hypothyroidism also affects left ventricular systolic function at rest remains controversial. Studies of subclinical hypothyroid patients before and after euthyroidism was achieved with levothyroxine replacement provided evidence of impaired resting left ventricular systolic function. Indeed, at-rest left ventricular systolic function was substantially normal in most studies of subclinical hypothyroid patients compared to normal control subjects. Drawing on these data, it appears that subclinical hypothyroidism should be considered a mild form of thyroid failure, associated with initial signs of cardiovascular hypothyroidism. Therefore, it would seem appropriate to initiate timely treatment of patients with mild thyroid failure to prevent cardiac involvement.
This article was published in Thyroid
and referenced in Biology and Medicine