Monday, March 22, 2021 (HealthDay News)-Another organ appears to be affected by a COVID-19 attack: the thyroid gland.
Italian researchers examined the thyroid gland of dozens of patients who recovered from moderate to severe cases of COVID-19. This study found evidence that SARS-CoV-2 infection can cause glandular inflammation in some patients.
However, it is still unclear whether the inflammation can cause long-term dysfunction.
In a news release from the endocrine system, Dr. Ilaria Muller, a senior researcher at the University of Milan, said, “Three months later, patients’ thyroid function normalized, but signs of inflammation remained about one-third of patients. It existed. ” society. Her team presented their findings at the Virtual Annual Meeting of the Endocrine Society on Monday.
The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland at the base of the front of the throat. It is very important for a wide range of physiological functions, including metabolism.
In the spring of 2020, Muller’s group noted that 15% of COVID-19 patients admitted to the intensive care unit of a medical center in Milan had changes in thyroid hormone due to many causes, including thyroid inflammation. Did.
By comparison, only 1% of patients hospitalized during the same period in 2019 had changes in thyroid hormone.
Viral infections can cause inflammation of the thyroid gland, known as thyroiditis.
“It’s not uncommon for subacute thyroiditis to occur after a serious viral infection,” said Dr. Minisha Sud, a US expert unrelated to the new study.
“The typical case of subacute thyroiditis disappears in a few weeks,” added Sood, an endocrinologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
To investigate whether COVID-19-related thyroiditis follows the same pattern of thyroid inflammation caused by other viruses, Muller’s group examined thyroid function in patients admitted with moderate to severe COVID-19. The monitoring program to check has started. ..
Blood and ultrasonography were used to assess the patient’s thyroid function and check for signs of inflammation.
Researchers have found that thyroiditis in people with moderate to severe COVID-19 differs from typical thyroiditis in some respects. For example, there is no typical neck pain associated with the condition. Many patients also had mild thyroid dysfunction, and the incidence of thyroid problems was higher in men than in women. The Italian team reported that thyroid dysfunction also appeared to be associated with more severe cases of COVID-19 disease.
So far, 53 patients have completed the assessment at 3 months.
“We will continue to monitor these patients to see what will happen next month. Knowing if SARS-CoV-2 has a delayed adverse effect on the thyroid gland is a quick diagnosis. And ultimately it’s important to treat. The condition. “
Findings presented at the medical conference were considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal, and Sood warned that “it is too early to reach a conclusion.”
However, Sood believes, “If you are infected with COVID-19, it is important to continuously monitor thyroid function in people with symptoms that suggest thyroiditis.”
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Source: Minisha Sood, MD, Endocrinologist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City.Endocrine Society, News Release, March 20, 2021
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