Angiotensin-converting enzyme activity. A potential marker of tissue hypothyroidism in critical illness

Robert Christian Smallridge, B. Chernow, R. Snyder, G. P. Zaloga, K. D. Burman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We measured serum angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) activity radiometrically as a possible indicator of reduced thyroid function in 57 euthyroid controls, 27 patients in a noncardiac intensive care unit (13 with medical and 14 with surgical disorders), and 29 patients having coronary artery bypass grafting. In the last group, blood was obtained preoperatively and one day and one month after surgery (group 1; n=18) or preoperatively and six hours and one day after surgery (group 2; n=11). Patients in group 1 had significant reductions in levels of serum thyroxine (T4), triiodothyronine (T3), and thyrotropin response to protirelin one day postoperatively. The ACE activity fell significantly. Patients in group 2 had low levels of T4, T3, thyrotropin, and ACE six hours postoperatively. All these levels remained low the next day, and free T4 and free T3 levels were also reduced; the reverse T3 level became elevated. Changes in ACE significantly paralleled changes in T3. The 27 patients without coronary artery bypass grafting also had significant reductions in serum T4, T3, and ACE levels. Dilution studies and dialysis of serum with low ACE activity failed to demonstrate an inhibitor to explain the reduced enzyme function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1829-1832
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Internal Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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