Sick Euthyroid Syndrome on Presentation of Patients With COVID-19: A Potential Marker for Disease Severity

Link to article at PubMed

Endocr Pract. 2021 Jan 11:S1530-891X(21)00006-9. doi: 10.1016/j.eprac.2021.01.001. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: Precise risk stratification and triage of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients are essential in the setting of an overwhelming pandemic burden. Clinical observation has shown a somewhat high prevalence of sick euthyroid syndrome among patients with COVID-19. This study aimed to evaluate the predictive value of free triiodothyronine (FT3) at the clinical presentation of COVID-19 for disease severity and death.

METHODS: This retrospective cohort study was based on electronic medical records. The study was conducted at Sheba Medical Centre, a tertiary hospital where several acute and chronic wards have been dedicated to the treatment of patients with COVID-19. The primary outcome measure was death during hospitalization; secondary outcomes included hospitalization in intensive care, mechanical ventilation, and length of hospitalization.

RESULTS: Of a total of 577 polymerase chain reaction-positive patients with COVID-19 hospitalized between February 27 and July 30, 2020, 90 had at least 1 measurement of thyroid-stimulating hormone, free thyroxine, and FT3 within 3 days of presentation. After applying strict exclusion criteria, 54 patients were included in the study. Patients in the lowest tertile of FT3 had significantly higher rates of mortality (40%, 5.9%, and 5.9%, P = .008), mechanical ventilation (45%, 29.4%, and 0.0%; P = .007) and intensive care unit admission (55%, 29.4%, and 5.9%, P = .006). In multivariate analyses adjusted for age, Charlson comorbidity index, creatinine, albumin, and white blood cell count. FT3 remained a significant independent predictor of death.

CONCLUSION: FT3 levels can serve as a prognostic tool for disease severity in the early presentation of COVID-19.

PMID:33551316 | DOI:10.1016/j.eprac.2021.01.001

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