A randomized double-blind study of the effect of triiodothyronine on cardiac function and morbidity after coronary bypass surgery

S. L. Mullis-Jansson, M. Argenziano, S. Corwin, S. Homma, A. D. Weinberg, M. Williams, E. A. Rose, C. R. Smith, A. S. Wechsler, Schaff, K. H. Krieger, A. R. Khorasan, P. L. Ergina

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124 Scopus citations


Background: Although triiodothyronine deficiency has been described after cardiopulmonary bypass, data supporting its use have been conflicting. A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study was undertaken to further define the effect of triiodothyronine on hemodynamics and outcome after coronary artery bypass grafting. Methods: A total of 170 patients undergoing elective coronary artery bypass grafting were enrolled and completed the study from November 1996 through March 1998. On removal of the aortic crossclamp, patients were randomized to receive either intravenous triiodothyronine (0.4 μg/kg bolus plus 0.1 μg/kg infusion administered over a 6-hour period, n = 81) or placebo (n = 89). Outcome variables included hemodynamic profile and inotropic drug/pressor requirements at several time points (mean ± standard error of the mean), perioperative morbidity (arrhythmia/ischemia/infarction), and mortality. Results: Despite similar baseline characteristics, patients randomized to triiodothyronine had a higher cardiac index and lower inotropic requirements after the operation. Subjects receiving triiodothyronine demonstrated a significantly lower incidence of postoperative myocardial ischemia (4% vs 18%, P = .007) and pacemaker dependence (14% vs 25%, P = .013). Seven patients in the placebo group required postoperative mechanical assistance (intra-aortic balloon pump, n = 4; left ventricular assist device, n = 3), compared with none in the triiodothyronine group (P = .01). There were 2 deaths in the placebo group and no deaths in the triiodothyronine group. Conclusions: Parenteral triiodothyronine given after crossclamp removal during elective coronary artery bypass grafting significantly improved postoperative ventricular function, reduced the need for treatment with inotropic agents and mechanical devices, and decreased the incidence of myocardial ischemia. The incidence of atrial fibrillation was slightly decreased, and the need for postoperative pacemaker support was reduced.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1128-1135
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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