(Received 25 March 1982; accepted 2 June 1982)
Published Online: January
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Based on reports of hypothyroidism in intensive care unit patients, a preliminary study was instituted in which 40 patients coming to autopsy, with no history of thyroid disease, were studied to include gross and microscopic study of the thyroid gland and the performance of thyroid function tests on all serum specimens submitted within seven days of death. Initial studies show that with the exception of sudden cardiac death, all of the autopsy patients showed evidence of chemical hypothyroxinemia within three days preceding death without any histologic abnormalities of the thyroid gland. Thyroid function tests were subsequently studied of decedents and survivor controls matched for age, sex, disease, and stage of disease if applicable. The findings were similar.
Office of the Medical Examiner, Seattle, WA
Stock #: JFS12257J