The following article features coverage from the National Kidney Foundation’s 2019 Spring Clinical Meetings. Click here to read more of Renal & Urology News’ conference coverage.

Patients on hemodialysis dialysis (HD) who exhibit higher serum thyrotropin (TSH) levels appear to have worse endothelial function, according to new study findings presented at the National Kidney Foundation’s 2019 Spring Clinical Meetings in Boston.

“Thyroid dysfunction is a highly prevalent yet under-recognized complication in hemodialysis patients,” Connie Rhee, MD, MS, of the University of California Irvine, told Renal & Urology News. “In the general population, hypothyroidism has been associated with endothelial dysfunction due to impaired vasodilator synthesis and activity.”

Dr Rhee and her collaborators decided to measure serum TSH and endothelial function in 99 HD patients (mean age 59; 53% female; 64% white) from the AIONID (Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Oxidative Nutrition in Hypoalbuminemic Dialysis Patients) trial. They employed digital thermal monitoring (DTM), which measures changes in fingertip temperature during and after an ischemic stimulus, to understand blood flow changes.

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In case-mix analyses, the highest 3 quartiles of TSH were associated with nearly triple the risks for worse (below median) temperature rebound and area under the temperature curve. The team adjusted for age, sex, and race.

“In our study of hemodialysis patients, higher TSH levels were associated with worse endothelial function,” Dr Rhee said. “At this time, further studies are needed to determine if thyroid hormone replacement improves endothelial function in these patients.”

Read more of Renal & Urology News’ coverage of NKF’s 2019 Spring Clinical Meetings by visiting the conference page.


You A, Budoff M, Zeb I, et al. Thyroid status and endothelial dysfunction in hemodialysis patients. Poster presented at the National Kidney Foundation’s 2019 Spring Clinical Meetings in Boston, May 8-12, 2019. Poster 207.