The thyrotropin releasing hormone stimulation test was the standard way of confirming hyperthyroidism prior to the development of immunoassay tests. It was performed by taking a base level of thyrotropin stimulating hormone, and then giving the patient a fixed dose of thyrotropin releasing hormone. The level of thyrotropin stimulating hormone would then be tested 15 minutes and 30 minutes after the dose. In a patient with hyperthyroidism, these levels could be measured with the less sensitive assays that were used.
The test is rarely dangerous, but can cause nausea and the urge to urinate.