Journal of Endocrinological Investigation

, Volume 15, Issue 10, pp 763–765 | Cite as

Increased arterial and venous plasma noradrenaline levels in patients with primary hypothyroidism during hypothyroid as compared to euthyroid state

  • P. Manhem
  • M. Bramnert
  • B. Hallengren
  • H. Lecerof
  • R. Werner


The use of venous plasma noradrenaline levels as a marker of general sympathetic tone has been questioned as changes in local sympathetic activity may influence the venous levels. To compare arterial and venous plasma noradrenaline levels in patients with primary hypothyroidism, arterial and venous blood were sampled during strictly standardized conditions during hypothyroid and euthyroid states. The patients were hospitalized for 5 days at a metabolic ward on a standardized sodium and potassium intake. On the fourth day catheters were positioned in the axillary artery and vein. Blood samples were drawn simultaneously for noradrenaline and adrenaline determinations during resting conditions. The arterial and venous plasma noradrenaline levels did not differ significantly, neither during hypothyroidism nor during euthyroidism. The arteriovenous difference in plasma adrenaline was similar during hypothyroidism compared to euthyroidism, indicating similar peripheral extraction rate of catecholamines during hypothyroidism as compared to euthyroidism. During hypothyroidism venous and arterial noradrenaline were significantly higher as compared to euthyroidism. In conclusion, there is no difference between arterial and venous noradrenaline levels either in the hypothyroid or the euthyroid state, and the peripheral extraction rate of plasma noradrenaline seems to be similar in hypothyroidism and euthyroidism. The local contribution of noradrenaline from the arm, reflecting local sympathetic nervous activity, is limited during resting conditions. In hypothyroid patients plasma noradrenaline levels are increased as compared to the euthyroid state, indicating increased general sympathetic activity in hypothyroidism.


Plasma adrenaline plasma cathecolamines plasma noradrenaline primary hypothyroidism 


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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Endocrinology (SIE) 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Manhem
    • 1
  • M. Bramnert
    • 1
  • B. Hallengren
    • 1
  • H. Lecerof
    • 2
  • R. Werner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EndocrinologyLund University Clinics, General HospitalMalmöSweden
  2. 2.Department of Clinical PhysiologyLund University Clinics, General HospitalMalmöSweden

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