Journal of Endocrinological Investigation

, Volume 11, Issue 7, pp 477–481 | Cite as

Decreased growth hormone (GH) response to oral Clonidine in endemic cretinism: effect of L-T3 therapy

  • M. C. N. Martins
  • M. Knobel
  • G. Medeiros-Neto


As GH secretion is dependent upon thyroid hormone availability, the GH responses to Clonidine (150 µg/m2) and the TSH and PRL response to TRH were studied in eight endemic (EC) cretins (3 hypothyroid, 5 with a low thyroid reserve) before and after 4 days of 100 µg of L-T3. Five normal controls (N) were also treated in similar conditions. Both groups presented a marked increase in serum T3 after therapy (N = 515 ± 89 ng/dl; EC = 647 ± 149 ng/dl) followed by a decrease in basal and peak TSH response to TRH. However, in the EC patients an increase in serum T4 levels and in basal PRL and peak PRL response to TRH after L-T3 therapy was observed. One hypothyroid EC had a markedly elevated PRL peak response to TRH (330 ng/dl). There were no significant changes in basal or peak GH values to treatment with L-T3 in normal subjects. In the EC group the mean basal plasma GH (2.3 ± 1.9 ng/ml) significantly rose to 8.8 ± 3.2 ng/ml and the mean peak response to Clonidine (12.7 ± 7.7 ng/ml) increased to 36.9 ± 3.1 ng/ml after L-T3. Plasma SM-C levels significantly increased in N from 1.79 ± 0.50 U/ml to 2.42 ± 0.40 U/ml after L-T3 (p < 0.01) and this latter value was significantly higher (p< 0.05) than mean Sm-C levels attained after L-T3 in the EC group (respectively: 1.14 ± 0.59 and 1.78 ± 0.68 U/ml). These data indicate that in EC the impaired GH response to a central nervous system mediated stimulus, the relatively low plasma Sm-C concentrations, and the presence of clinical or subclinical hypothyroidism may contribute to the severity of growth retardation present in this syndrome.


Growth hormone endemic cretinism somatomedin-C hypothyroidism thyroid hormone 


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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Endocrinology (SIE) 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. C. N. Martins
    • 1
  • M. Knobel
    • 1
  • G. Medeiros-Neto
    • 1
  1. 1.Thyroid Laboratory, Division of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, Hospital das ClinicasUniversity of Sao Paulo Medical SchoolSao PauloBrazil

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