Evaluation of endothelial function in subclinical hypothyroidism and subclinical hyperthyroidism

Thyroid. 2004 Aug;14(8):605-9. doi: 10.1089/1050725041692891.


Subclinical hypothyroidism and subclinical hyperthyroidism are two frequently occurring conditions for which exact therapeutic approaches have not yet been established. The aim of this study was to compare the endothelial function and carotid artery intimae-media thickness (IMT) of these two groups of patients to euthyroid subjects and to assess the effects of these conditions on endothelial function. Study groups comprised of 25 subclinical hypothyroid patients (mean age, 32.28 +/- 9.67 years), 13 subclinical hyperthyroid patients (mean age, 35.69 +/- 9.67 years), and 23 euthyroid subjects (mean age, 35.87 +/- 7.93 years). They were evaluated for flow-mediated dilatation (FMD), and carotid artery IMT. The groups were matched strictly for atherosclerotic risk factors. The subclinical hypothyroid group was found to have significantly lower FMD values. No significant differences were observed between the groups with respect to other vascular parameters. The only discriminative factor between the groups was the state of their thyroid function. Therefore, subclinical hypothyroidism may have adverse effects on endothelial function independent from other well-known atherosclerotic risk factors.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arteriosclerosis / diagnosis
  • Arteriosclerosis / epidemiology
  • Arteriosclerosis / physiopathology
  • Carotid Arteries / physiology
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperthyroidism / diagnosis*
  • Hyperthyroidism / epidemiology
  • Hyperthyroidism / physiopathology*
  • Hypothyroidism / diagnosis*
  • Hypothyroidism / epidemiology
  • Hypothyroidism / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Vasodilation