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Study of Thyrotropin-Releasing Hormone in Normal Volunteers and in Patients With Thyroid or Pituitary Abnormalities

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00054756
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : February 10, 2003
Last Update Posted : October 19, 2017
Information provided by (Responsible Party):

Study Description
Brief Summary:

This study will determine the safety and activity of a new formulation of thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH), a drug used for diagnosing and evaluating patients with certain thyroid gland abnormalities. Normal thyroid gland function depends on proper chemical signaling between the thyroid gland, the hypothalamus (the part of the brain where TRH is made), and the pituitary (another part of the brain). The TRH test helps assess this interaction. Production of the only FDA-approved preparation of TRH was stopped in July 2002. As a result, to have a continuous source of TRH available for NIH clinical and research purposes, the NIH Clinical Center (CC) Pharmacy Department produced a pharmaceutical grade formulation of TRH for patient use. This study will test the CC formulation in healthy volunteers to show that its activity and side effects are similar to those of the previously available commercial test preparation. It will then be studied in CC patients for whom the diagnostic test is recommended.

Healthy volunteers between 18 and 65 years of age and all patients requiring TRH evaluation of hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid gland interaction may be eligible for this study. Patients include those with pituitary reserve, inconsistent thyroid function test, inappropriate TSH secretion, or pre- and post-operative evaluation of pituitary tumors. Normal volunteers will be screened with a medical history, physical examination, and blood tests. Women of child-bearing potential will be given a pregnancy test; pregnant and breast-feeding women may not participate.

The TRH test procedure will be the same for healthy volunteers and patients. All participants fast from midnight before the morning of the test. In the morning, a catheter (flexible plastic tube) is inserted into an arm vein for easy injection of the TRH and collection of blood samples. Blood pressure is monitored before and during the test. A blood sample is drawn, and then TRH is given through the catheter over a 1-minute period. Another nine blood samples are collected over a 3-hour period from the time of the TRH injection for measuring levels of various hormones. A total of less than 4 tablespoons of blood is taken for the test.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Healthy Pituitary Disease Thyroid Disease Drug: TRH (Thyrotropin Releasing Hormone) Phase 2

Detailed Description:

Thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH) is a neuropeptide used in the diagnostic evaluation of patients with dysfunction of the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis. In healthy individuals, administration of TRH intravenously results in pituitary secretion of thyrotropin [thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)], which in turn stimulates the thyroid gland release of thyroid hormones; thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). TRH stimulates the secretion of other pituitary hormones under normal physiologic as well as pathologic conditions.

Under this protocol, TRH is used for routine diagnostic testing and research studies in adults and children. It is produced by the Pharmaceutical Development Section of the Clinical Center Pharmacy at the NIH. The safety, activity and comparability of this preparation were demonstrated in a small group of normal volunteers prior to its release for diagnostic and research use.

Study Design

Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 157 participants
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Study of Thyrotropin Releasing Hormone in Patients With Thyroid or Pituitary Abnormalities
Study Start Date : February 7, 2003
Primary Completion Date : February 3, 2017
Study Completion Date : February 3, 2017

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

U.S. FDA Resources

Arms and Interventions

Outcome Measures

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. TSH response to TRH

Eligibility Criteria

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   2 Years to 65 Years   (Child, Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

-All adults and children requiring dynamic testing of the hypothalamic-pituitary axis for the evaluation of pituitary reserve, inconsistent thyroid function test, inappropriate TSH secretion, or pre-and post-operative evaluation of pituitary adenomas (glycoprotein hormone secreting tumors, growth hormone secreting tumors and TSH secreting tumors).

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Uncontrolled hypertension;
  • Uncontrolled seizure disorder;
  • Unstable coronary disease;
  • Known allergy to TRH.


-TRH is available for use in other IRB approved research protocols either using the standard diagnostic testing protocol or the modified TRH test.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Untreated hypertension;
  • Coronary artery disease;
  • History of asthma;
  • History of seizures;
  • Pregnancy;
  • Known allergy to TRH.
Contacts and Locations

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT00054756

United States, Maryland
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, 9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Principal Investigator: Joanna Klubo-Gwiezdzinska, M.D. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
More Information

Additional Information:
Responsible Party: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00054756     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 030098
First Posted: February 10, 2003    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: October 19, 2017
Last Verified: April 25, 2017

Keywords provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC) ( National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) ):
Hypothalamic Releasing Factor
Diagnostic Testing
Pituitary Tumors
Central Hypothyroidism
Pituitary Disorder
Thyroid Disorder
Healthy Volunteer

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Thyroid Diseases
Pituitary Diseases
Endocrine System Diseases
Hypothalamic Diseases
Brain Diseases
Central Nervous System Diseases
Nervous System Diseases
Thyrotropin-Releasing Hormone
Hormones, Hormone Substitutes, and Hormone Antagonists
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Bone Density Conservation Agents