Diastolic and Systolic Dysfunction of the Heart and Thyroid Hormone Abnormalities

  • Yi-Da TangEmail author


Thyroid hormone (TH) has strong positive chronotropic and inotropic action on cardiac myocyte during systolic period and also enhances the duration of diastolic relaxation. Systolic and diastolic changes of the heart made by triiodothyronine (T3) is not only caused by its direct action on cardiac myocyte but also indirectly mediated by its effects on peripheral vessels and renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS). In hyperthyroid heart, the number of β-adrenergic receptors is upregulated, causing an imbalanced sympathovagal tone. In hyperthyroidism, thyroid hormones promote the breakdown of collagen by increasing matrix metalloproteinase-1 activity, leading to hypertrophy without increased fibrosis, at least in the earlier stage. Hypothyroidism-mediated characteristic changes in the expression of cardiac genes, such as reduced levels of the sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase (SERCA2), and increased expression of phospholamban, which play a significant role in regulating intracellular calcium cycling, can partly account for the decreased cardiac contractility and the abnormalities in diastolic function. Thyroid dysfunction also alters blood pressure, and hypertension combined with hypothyroidism appears to be characterized by a low-renin state. Animal models showed that administration of low-dose T3 after myocardial infarction improved cardiac structure and function, decreased the incidence of tachyarrhythmia, and reduced adverse left ventricular remodeling. The beneficial effects of thyroid hormone make it potentially attractive for the usage in the management of cardiac diastolic and systolic dysfunction.


Thyroid hormones Cardiac diastolic function Cardiac systolic function Subclinical thyroid dysfunction Vascular function Heart failure Arrhythmia Thyroid hormone replacement therapy 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Cardiology, State Key Laboratory of Cardiovascular Disease, National Center for Cardiovascular DiseasesFuwai Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical CollegeBeijingChina

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