The pattern of cortisol (50237) secretory activity of 4 patients with severe spontaneous hyperthyroidism was studied by sampling plasma every 20 minutes for 24 hours. The hyperthyroid patients are found to exhibit: more cortisol secretory episodes than normal; more of the 24 hours was spent in adrenal secretory activity; increased production of cortisol in conjunction with a shortened half-life of plasma cortisol; functional adrenal hypertrophy; and retention of the normal about midnight concentration of plasma cortisol at zero or virtually zero for a prolonged time.
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