Abnormal proinsulin levels in thyroid dysfunction measured by a sensitive proinsulin immunochemiluminoassay

Ta Jen Wu, Shih Ming Huang, Robert L. Taylor, Pai C. Kao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Abnormalities of carbohydrate metabolism in hyperthyroid patients have been long noted. Elevated proinsulin level is considered as an early marker of B-cell impairment. Proinsulin levels in hyperthyroid patients decreased after antithyroid drug therapy. However, proinsulin in hypothyroid patients was only rarely reported, and the difference was only demonstrated after glucose stimulation-there was a greater response of proinsulin secretion after thyroxine therapy-and the basal fasting proinsulin level was not different after therapy. One of the reasons might be that the assay was not sensitive enough to detect the change of basal proinsulin levels in patients with hypothyroidism after therapy. A newly developed immunochemiluminometric assay of proinsulin was used to demonstrate that the suppressed proinsulin level increased after thyroxine therapy in hypothyroid patients (4.2 ± 2.4 vs. 10.0 ± 5.6 pmol/L, p < 0.05; n = 7). On the other hand, our study also confirmed that the proinsulin levels decreased in hyperthyroid patients after antithyroid therapy by methimazole (27.8 ± 26.0 vs. 15.8 ± 15.7 pmol/L, p < 0.05; n = 12). In conclusion, proinsulin increased in hypothyroid patients after thyroxine therapy and decreased in hyperthyroid patients after methimazole therapy. The results demonstrated there is a high correlation between thyroid function and B-cell function in hypothyroid as well as hyperthyroid patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-87
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Clinical and Laboratory Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1998 Apr 23

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Immunology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Hematology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Medical Laboratory Technology


Dive into the research topics of 'Abnormal proinsulin levels in thyroid dysfunction measured by a sensitive proinsulin immunochemiluminoassay'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this