Published June 1, 1981 - More info
The arterial concentration and turnover rate and the splanchnic exchange of FFA were examined after an overnight fast in a group of 11 female patients with clinical and laboratory evidence of hyperthyroidism. [14C]oleic acid was infused intravenously and the hepatic venous catheter technique was used. As compared with healthy control individuals, the arterial concentrations of FFA and oleic acid were elevated by 30--40% in the hyperthyroid group. Both the turnover rate and the fractional turnover of oleic acid were significantly increased. The turnover rate correlated directly with arterial concentration of oleic acid in both the control and the patient group but the slope was steeper in the patients. The splanchnic uptake of oleic acid was three times higher than in the control group. The augmented uptake was a consequence of elevated arterial concentrations and increased hepatic plasma flow, whereas fractional splanchnic uptake remained unchanged. Ketone body production was four- to fivefold greater in the patients and could be largely accounted for by increased splanchnic FFA uptake. In six patients studied after treatment resulting in a return to normal thyroid function, a significant reduction was observed in arterial FFA, estimated hepatic blood flow, oleic acid turnover, and ketone body production. It is concluded that hyperthyroidism is characterized by increased turnover and splanchnic uptake of FFA and augmented ketogenesis. These findings can be explained on the basis of elevated arterial FFA concentrations and increased blood flow, particularly to the splanchnic bed.