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The Portal Circulation in Adult Myxedema

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1960;105(2):252-256. doi:10.1001/archinte.1960.00270140074008.
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It seemed of interest to us to study the portal circulation in patients with myxedema. A great deal has already been published on circulatory alterations in hypothyrodism, especially in the so-called myxedematous heart. Hypothyroidism should in principle affect the circulation of all parts, but the fact that the liver in myxedema is habitually enlarged (be it due to edema or excessive deposition of glycogen, etc.) makes us wonder if at the same time there are alterations in the portal circulation and if so, whether this is just a reflection of the general circulatory disturbance in hypothyroidism or perhaps caused by some local factor that could explain it.

Our investigations were thus oriented along the following lines:

  1. Examination of hepatic biopsies to ascertain any alterations in the myxedematous liver, and in case any were found to see if they are reversible upon treatment.

  2. Determination of the intrasplenic venous pressure (which is


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