Prevalence and Clinical Significance of Low T3 Syndrome in Non-Dialysis Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease

Med Sci Monit. 2016 Apr 8:22:1171-9. doi: 10.12659/msm.895953.


BACKGROUND There are few data on the prevalence of low T3 (triiodothyronine) syndrome in patients with non-dialysis chronic kidney disease (CKD) and it is unclear whether low T3 can be used to predict the progression of CKD. MATERIAL AND METHODS We retrospectively studied 279 patients who had been definitively diagnosed with CKD, without needing maintenance dialysis. Thyroid function was analyzed in all enrolled subjects and the incidence of thyroid dysfunction (low T3 syndrome, low T4 syndrome, and subclinical hypothyroidism) in patients at different stages of CKD was determined. RESULTS Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) of CKD patients was estimated as follows: 145 subjects (52%) had GFR <60 ml/min per 1.73 m2; 47 subjects (16.8%) had GFR between 30 and 59 ml/min per 1.73 m2, and 98 subjects (35.1%) had GFR <30 ml/min per 1.73 m2. Among all enrolled subjects, 4.7% (n=13) had subclinical hypothyroidism, 5.4% (n=15) had low T4 syndrome, and 47% (n=131) had low T3 syndrome. In 114 CKD patients in stages 3-5, serum T3 was positively related to protein metabolism (STP, PA, and ALB) and anemia indicators (Hb and RBC), and negatively related to inflammatory status (CRP and IL-6). CONCLUSIONS A high prevalence of low T3 syndrome was observed in CKD patients without dialysis, even in early stages (1 and 2). The increasing prevalence of low T3 as CKD progresses indicates its value as a predictor of worsening CKD. Furthermore, low T3 syndrome is closely associated with both malnutrition-inflammation complex syndrome (MICS) and anemia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Hypothyroidism / blood
  • Hypothyroidism / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / blood
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / epidemiology
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / physiopathology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Thyroid Diseases / blood
  • Thyroid Diseases / epidemiology
  • Triiodothyronine / blood
  • Triiodothyronine / deficiency*
  • Triiodothyronine / metabolism


  • Biomarkers
  • Triiodothyronine