In heart failure, cardiac output is insufficient to meet the needs of the body for oxygen delivery. Available data suggest that alterations in thyroid hormone metabolism may contribute to defective myocardial performance. Accordingly, thyroid hormone or a thyroid hormone analogue that improves cardiac performance might be useful in the treatment of heart failure and has been studied. Experimental and theoretical results of these studies are reviewed and indicate that thyroid hormone increases cardiac output by a combination of effects on the heart and peripheral circulation, specifically by increasing myocardial contractile performance and decreasing venous compliance. In the rat postinfarction model of heart failure, treatment with low doses of thyroxine (1.5 μg/100 g) for 3 days produced a positive inotropic response, including an increase in rate of change of left ventricular pressure and a decrease in left ventricular end-diastolic pressure. These changes could be attributed to conversion to triiodothyronine, the active intracellular form of thyroid hormone. When treatment with thyroxine was continued at the same or higher doses (3 to 15 μg/100 g) for 10 to 12 days, heart rate increased and improvement in left ventricular end-diastolic pressure was not sustained. More favorable results were obtained with 3,5-diiodothyropropionic acid, a cardiotonic thyroid hormone analogue administered at doses of 375 μg/100 g, given in combination with captopril. Thus, triiodothyronine or a thyroid hormone analogue may be a useful adjunct to other measures in the treatment of heart failure.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine