BACKGROUND: COVID-19 is now a worldwide pandemic. Among the many extra-pulmonary manifestations of COVID-19, recent evidence suggested a possible occurrence of thyroid dysfunction.
PURPOSE: The Aim of the present review is to summarize available studies regarding thyroid function alterations in patients with COVID-19 and to overview the possible physio-pathological explanations.
CONCLUSIONS: The repercussions of the thyroid of COVID-19 seem to be related, in part, with the occurrence of a "cytokine storm" that would, in turn, induce a "non-thyroidal illness". Some specific cytokines and chemokines appear to have a direct role on the hypothalamus-pituitary-thyroid axis. On the other hand, some authors have observed an increased incidence of a destructive thyroiditis, either subacute or painless, in patients with COVID-19. The hypothesis of a direct infection of the thyroid by SARS-Cov-2 stems from the observation that its receptor, ACE2, is strongly expressed in thyroid tissue. Lastly, it is highly probable that some pharmaceutical agents largely used for the treatment of COVID-19 can act as confounding factors in the laboratory evaluation of thyroid function parameters.
- Antiviral Agents/adverse effects
- Cytokine Release Syndrome/etiology
- Thyroid Hormones/metabolism