A recent study found that some moderate to severe Covid-19 patients suffer from inflammation of the thyroid gland that differs from thyroiditis caused by other viruses.
The results found that a third of the study participants remained with signs of thyroiditis after three months, despite their normal thyroid function.
The study is following patients to determine whether this inflammation will lead to permanent thyroid impairment.
And in the spring of 2020, 15% of Covid-19 patients hospitalized at Fondazione IRCCS Ca ‘Granda Policlinico in Milan, Italy, had thyroid hormone changes from multiple causes, including thyroiditis. In comparison, only 1% of patients hospitalized during the same period in 2019 before the pandemic had thyroid hormone changes.
Usually people with thyroiditis, or inflammation of the thyroid gland caused by other viruses, restore thyroid function in the short term. However, there is an increased long-term risk of permanently reduced thyroid function, caused by the late effects of a viral infection, or by the immune system attacking the thyroid gland, said lead researcher Ilaria Muller, from the University of Milan in Italy.
Muller wanted to know if thyroiditis associated with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes “Covid-19”, followed the same pattern as thyroiditis caused by other viruses. And it started a surveillance program to monitor the thyroid function of patients every three months after admission to hospital due to moderate to severe “Covid-19”.
Patients undergo routine blood tests and ultrasound to monitor thyroid function and markers of inflammation.
Muller found that thyroiditis in people with moderate to severe “Covid-19” disease differs from typical thyroiditis in several ways.
These include the absence of neck pain, mild hypothyroidism, higher frequency among men, and its association with severe Covid-19 disease.
So far, 53 patients have completed the assessment in three months. All of them have normal thyroid function.
“After three months, the patients thyroid function has returned to normal, but signs of inflammation are still present in about a third of the patients. We are continuing to monitor these patients to see what will happen in the following months. It is important to know if it is SARS-CoV, ”Mueller said. -2 It has delayed-onset negative effects on the thyroid gland, for the prompt diagnosis and ultimate treatment of the condition.