New method allows more targeted measurement of thyroid hormone action in tissue

October 20, 2020

(Vienna, 20 October 2020) Patients with thyroid dysfunction are routinely treated with drugs to regulate the hormone imbalance. The effect of these drugs is clinically evaluated by means of blood tests. A team led by Michael Krebs from MedUni Vienna's Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism has now conducted a study to test the use of magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMRS) to measure the effect in body tissue as well. They were able to identify certain phosphorus-containing compounds that are visible in NMRS as markers for thyroid hormone action in tissue. The study has been published in the prestigious "Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism".

Thyroid dysfunction affects up to 10% of the Western population, an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) being the most prevalent form. Patients are routinely treated with thyroxine and the success of the treatment is monitored by means of blood tests. However, it has been found that approximately 10 to 15% of all those treated continue to experience problems such as lethargy and tiredness.

It has been known from the animal model that, although animals that have been treated with hormones to combat thyroid insufficiency display normal blood concentrations, a hypofunction is nonetheless detected in their tissue. An increasing number of studies have subsequently shown that the effect of many hormones is not only dependent upon the blood concentration but also upon complex regulation mechanisms in the cells, which are controlled in the short term.

Working in close collaboration with the Center of Excellence for High-Field MR, a team of researchers led by Michael Krebs from the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism of the Department of Medicine III at MedUni Vienna has now developed a non-invasive method for measuring thyroid hormone action not only in blood but also in tissue. They were able to identify certain phosphorus-containing compounds that are visible in NMRS as markers for thyroid hormone action in tissue. This allows hormone action to be determined in different areas of the body, such as in muscles or in the liver, like in a "virtual tissue section".

Says Krebs: "The regulation of hormone action not only via the blood concentration but also via local control in the tissues has long been underestimated. If we are able to develop methods for visualising this phenomenon in practice, we are opening up completely new worlds." As a next step, studies are planned to try out the new method in clinical practice, with the aim of providing better care for patients.
Service: Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism

"Effects of thyroid function on phosphodiester concentrations in skeletal muscle and liver: An in vivo NMRS study." Hannes Beiglböck, Peter Wolf, Lorenz Pfleger, Burak Caliskan, Paul Fellinger, Georg Zettinig, Christian Heinz Anderwald, Lukas Kenner, Siegfried Trattnig, Alexandra Kautzky-Willer, Martin Krššák, Michael Krebs.

DOI: 10.1210/clinem/dgaa663

Medical University of Vienna

Related Endocrinology Articles from Brightsurf:

Studies show strong links between the endocrine system and COVID-19 incidence and mortality
COVID-19 and interlinkages to endocrine and metabolic diseases was an important programme topic at the 2020 European Congress of Endocrinology.

Statement advising caution on interpretation of recent paper on cancer risk & hyperthyroidism issued
Caution is advised in interpreting the findings of the recent JAMA Internal Medicine publication1 on radioactive iodine treatment for hyperthyroid patients and cancer mortality.

The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology: Testosterone may significantly improve sexual function and sexual wellbeing in postmenopausal women
The most comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis of testosterone treatment for women undertaken, including 46 reports on 36 trials involving 8,480 women, published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal, suggests it can significantly improve sexual wellbeing for postmenopausal women.

The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology: Economic growth linked to reduction in stunting and thinness, but rise in overweight and obesity in Chinese children and adolescents
The first study to evaluate the effect of economic growth on malnutrition in all its forms has found that, while stunting and thinness have ameliorated in recent years, a four-fold increase in overweight and obesity among children and adolescents occurred in China between 1995 and 2014, with around one in five children and adolescents now either overweight or obese.

Endocrine Society celebrates International Women's Day with special thematic issue
The Endocrine Society is commemorating International Women's day with its March 2019 Woman in Endocrinology Collection, a special online thematic issue of peer-reviewed journal articles.

The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology: Global study predicts more than 20 percent rise in insulin use by 2030
The amount of insulin needed to effectively treat type 2 diabetes will rise by more than 20 percent worldwide over the next 12 years, but without major improvements in access, insulin will be beyond the reach of around half of the 79 million adults with type 2 diabetes who will need it in 2030, according to a new modelling study published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal.

The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology: Job strain linked to increased risk of premature death for men with cardiometabolic disease
Having a demanding job and little control over it is associated with an increased risk of premature death in men with coronary heart disease, stroke, or diabetes, according to an observational study tracking more than 100000 men and women with and without cardiometabolic disease from Finland, France, Sweden, and the UK for almost 14 years, published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal.

Biotin supplements caused misleading test results, almost led to unnecessary procedure
A new case report led by Maya Styner, M.D., of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine describes how a patient's use of a common over-the-counter biotin supplement caused clinically misleading test results and almost resulted in an unnecessary, invasive medical procedure.

Conservation endocrinology in a changing world
The BioScience Talks podcast ( features discussions of topical issues related to the biological sciences.

Conservation endocrinology sheds light on a changing world
The endocrine system is the set of glands that release hormones directly to the blood.

Read More: Endocrinology News and Endocrinology Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to