Supplementary Material for: Plasma Levels of Free Thyroxine and Risk of Major Bleeding in Bariatric Surgery

Background: In a recent study of patients using vitamin K antagonists, those with low free thyroxin (FT4) levels within the normal range had a 3- to 5-fold increased risk of major bleeding. We tested the hypothesis that low levels of preoperative FT4 within the reference range are associated with an increased risk of major bleeding during and after bariatric surgery. Methods: The charts of 2,872 consecutive patients undergoing bariatric surgery were retrospectively screened for bleeding episodes. Patients with major bleeding until 1 month after surgery were compared to randomly selected control patients without bleeding, in a ratio of 1:4. We evaluated the association between preoperative FT4 levels and the risk of major bleeding by logistic regression. Results: Seventy-two cases (2.5%) with major bleeding were identified and 288 controls were selected. The median plasma level of FT4 was 13 pmol/l (interquartile range: 12-14) in the cases as well as in the controls. No clear effect was observed of low levels of FT4 on the risk of major bleeding: odds ratio 1.48 (95% CI: 0.46-4.80) for patients with an FT4 level <11 pmol/l, 1.03 (0.49-2.18) for patients with an FT4 level <12 pmol/l, and 1.12 (0.65-1.94) for patients with an FT4 level <13 pmol/l as compared to patients with FT4 values greater than or equal to these cutoff levels. Interpretation: We did not observe an increased risk of major bleeding with low levels of FT4 in patients undergoing bariatric surgery.