Changes In Thyroid Functioning In COVID-19 Patients

A cross-sectional study was carried out to assess the possible effect of SAR-CoV-2 infection on thyroid function. The study included 45 COVID-19 patients and 45 apparently healthy uninfected controls. The mean age of COVID-19 patients was 35.31±12.44 years, while uninfected controls had a mean age of 38.38 ± 8.08 years. 75.6% were males and 24.4% were females in the COVID-19 infected group, while the corresponding uninfected controls comprised 71.1% males and 28.9% females.

Plasma FT3, FT4, TSH and Hs-CRP were measured using the Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) method. It was found that plasma FT3 and TSH concentrations were significantly higher in COVID-19 infected individuals when compared to the control group. 28.9% of the COVID-19 patients had elevated FT3 while FT3 was not elevated in any control individuals.

Also, 2.2% and 15.6% of the COVID-19 infected patients had elevated and decreased FT4 respectively. There were no changes in FT4 among healthy individuals. Amongst the COVID-19 infected individuals, 15.6% were sick euthyroid and 6.7% had subclinical hypothyroidism whereas none was found among the healthy individuals.  Plasma Hs-CRP concentrations were not significantly different between the two groups. 

Thus, it can be concluded that significantly higher mean plasma levels of TSH and FT3, sick euthyroid syndrome and subclinical hypothyroidism observed among some COVID-19 patients could be due to adaptive changes, intrinsic abnormalities of the thyroid gland or damage to the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid function. Hence, there is a need to pay attention to thyroid function both in the course of the infection and in the follow-up period.

Source: NCBI



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