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 +0  (nbme21#23)

Vasoconstriction decreases blood flow and thus decreases hydrostatic pressure. Seems counter intuitive but I had to look this up after I got it wrong, too.


 +2  (nbme21#29)

Fats are ketogenic (except odd chain FA), so they produce ketones for energy production (Acetyl-CoA) rather than glucose. If the question asked what the primary source of energy production was, it would still be glycogen (and not ketones), because this is within 24 hours. However after 24 hours the answer could be ketone bodies. Regardless, the question specifically said the pt had a serum glucose of 100, indicating that we are looking for something that provides a substrate for gluconeogenesis.

During periods of starvation, substrates for gluconeogenesis come from two sources: (1) breakdown of existing muscle, or (2) via odd-chain FA through propionyl-CoA. (*Valine also feeds into propionyl CoA, but is not involved during starvation --> see below)

(1) The alanine-pyruvate cycle provides this (glutamine in muscle + pyruvate --> alanine --> goes to liver --> transamination to alpha-ketoglutorate --> pyruvate is separated from glutamine --> glutamine goes to urea cycle, pyruvate goes on to gluconeogenesis). Lactate can also be used (this could have been a right answer if it were listed).

(2) Odd chain FAs are also glucogenic, but stearic acid (provided in the answer choice) isn’t odd chain, so it is only ketogenic and can be ruled out.

Although valine (and other branched a.a.) feed into Propionyl-CoA, they are not used in starvation because starvation strictly relies on hepatic gluconeogenesis. These a.a. are not metabolized in the liver because the liver lacks branched-chain a.a. transferase enzyme. In First Aid, Biochem section, under Fasting/Starvation, in both the “fasting state” (which is within the time frame of this question), or the “starvation state,” both utilize hepatic gluconeogenesis. My assumption is that valine is used during regular metabolism, and not during periods of starvation.


 +1  (nbme21#31)

I think the concept they’re testing is the increased TBG levels in pregnancy, and not just hyperthyroidism in general.

When screening for hypo/hyperthyroidism, TSH levels are ALWAYS preferentially checked because they are more sensitive to minute differences in T3/T4. Often times TSH levels can demonstrate a change even when T3/T4 levels are in the subclinical range. The only exception to this would be in pregnancy (and I guess maybe liver failure? I doubt they would ask this though). High estrogen levels prevents the liver from breaking down TBG, leading to increased TBG levels in the serum. This binds to free T4, decreasing the amount of available free T4. As a compensatory mechanism, TSH levels are transiently increased and the RATE of T4 production is increased to replenish baseline free T4 levels. However the TOTAL amount of T4 is increased.

The question is asking how to confirm hyperthyroidism in a pregnant woman --> you need to check FREE T4 levels (because they should be normal due to compensatory response). You cannot check TSH (usually elevated in pregnancy to compensate for increased TBG), and you cannot check total T4 levels (will be increased). You got the answer right either way but I think this is a different reasoning worth considering, because they can ask this concept in other contexts of hyper-estrogenism, and if they listed “TSH” as an answer choice that would be incorrect.