We assessed the clinical utility of measuring thyrotropin (TSH) in serum by immunoradiometry and of measuring total thyroxin (TT4), total triiodothyronine (TT3), free thyroxin (FT4), and free triiodothyronine (FT3). We used a group of 110 healthy volunteers, 45 ill hypoalbuminemic patients, and 42 ill normoalbuminemic patients. In addition, the free thyroxin index (FTI) and TT4:thyroxin-binding globulin (TBG) ratio were also calculated. The hypoalbuminemic group had significantly lower FT4, FT3, TT4, TT3, and FTI concentrations, but only FT3 and TT3 were significantly lower in the ill normoalbuminemic group as compared with controls. We found significant correlation between FT4 and albumin (r = 0.372, P less than 0.001) and FT3 and albumin (r = 0.465, P less than 0.001). TSH concentrations were undetectable in two of 45 hypoalbuminemic patients, significantly higher in the rest. The TT4/TBG ratio was the only parameter of thyroid function that remained unchanged in the ill patients.