A case of combined, selective, hypothalamic hypothyroidism and secondary adrenal insufficiency is described. Serum levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), before and after thyrotropin-releasing factor (TRF) administration, were in the range generally considered to be indicative of primary, rather than secondary, hypothyroidism. Hence, the clinical usefulness of serum TSH levels to unequivocally provide an accurate distinction between primary and secondary hypothyroidism must be questioned. The paucity of clinical findings suggestive of adrenal insufficiency in this case is emphasized, and the usefulness of adrenal screening tests in hypothyroid subjects seems clear.
(Arch Intern Med 139:99-100, 1979)