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Thyroid hormone resistance
Classification and external resources
ICD-10 E07.
ICD-9 246.8
OMIM 274300 188570
DiseasesDB 31913
MeSH D018382

Thyroid hormone resistance describes a rare syndrome where the thyroid hormone levels are elevated but the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level is not suppressed, or not completely suppressed as would be expected.



The most common cause of the syndrome are mutations of the β (beta) form (THRB) of the thyroid hormone receptor, of which over 100 different mutations have been documented.

Mutations in MCT8 and SECISBP2 have also been associated with this condition.[1]


Thyroid hormone resistance syndrome is rare, incidence is variously quoted as 1 in 50,000 or 1 in 40,000 live births.


The syndrome can present with variable symptoms, even between members of the same family harboring the same mutation.[2] Typically most or all tissues are resistant to thyroid hormone, so despite raised measures of serum thyroid hormone the individual may appear euthyroid (have no symptoms of over- or underactivity of the thyroid gland). The most common symptoms are goiter and tachycardia. It has also been linked to some cases of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), although the majority of people with that diagnosis have no thyroid problems.[3]

An association with depression has been proposed.[4]


The characteristic blood test results for this disorder can also be found in other disorders (for example TSH-oma (pituitary adenoma), or other pituitary disorders). The diagnosis may involve identifying a mutation of the thyroid receptor, which is present in approximately 85% of cases.[5]

Yet, since discovery of resistance to thyroid hormones in the absence of thyroid hormone receptor beta mutations, lack of a mutation in a patient does not rule out resistance.[6]


Sometimes the phrase thyroid hormone resistance is used to identify cases where patients with autoimmune thyroid disorders respond poorly to normal doses of replacement thyroid hormone, this is thought to occur where patients have developed antibodies to thyroid hormones. Antibodies to thyroid hormones quite commonly occur in such disorders, and may interfere with the normal clinical assays used in monitoring such disorders, and in unusual cases may have further independent clinical significance.


  1. ^ Refetoff S, Dumitrescu AM (2007). "Syndromes of reduced sensitivity to thyroid hormone: genetic defects in hormone receptors, cell transporters and deiodination". Best Pract. Res. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 21 (2): 277–305. doi:10.1016/j.beem.2007.03.005. PMID 17574009.  
  2. ^ Refetoff S, DeWind LT, DeGroot LJ (1967). "Familial syndrome combining deaf-mutism, stuppled epiphyses, goiter and abnormally high PBI: possible target organ refractoriness to thyroid hormone". J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 27 (2): 279–94. PMID 4163616.  
  3. ^ Hauser P, Zametkin AJ, Martinez P, et al. (1993). "Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder in people with generalized resistance to thyroid hormone". N. Engl. J. Med. 328 (14): 997–1001. doi:10.1056/NEJM199304083281403. PMID 8450877.  
  4. ^ Fardella CE, Artigas RA, Gloger S, et al. (2007). "Refractory depression in a patient with peripheral resistance to thyroid hormone (RTH) and the effect of triiodothyronine treatment". Endocrine 31 (3): 272–8. doi:10.1007/s12020-007-0042-7. PMID 17906375.  
  5. ^ Bottcher Y, Paufler T, Stehr T, Bertschat FL, Paschke R, Koch CA (2007). "Thyroid hormone resistance without mutations in thyroid hormone receptor beta". Med. Sci. Monit. 13 (6): CS67–70. PMID 17534237.  
  6. ^ Tjørve E, Tjørve KM, Olsen JO, Senum R, Oftebro H (2007). "On commonness and rarity of thyroid hormone resistance: a discussion based on mechanisms of reduced sensitivity in peripheral tissues". Med. Hypotheses 69 (4): 913–21. doi:10.1016/j.mehy.2006.12.056. PMID 17383828.  


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