Thyroid dysfunction in COVID-19 patients

R. Baldelli, E. Nicastri, N. Petrosillo, L. Marchioni, A. Gubbiotti, I. Sperduti, P. Di Giacinto, L. Rizza, F. Rota, M. Franco, A. Lania, G. Aimaretti, G. Ippolito, P. Zuppi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: “Non thyroidal illness syndrome” (NTIS) or “euthyroid sick syndrome” (ESS) is a possible biochemical finding in euthyroid patients with severe diseases. It is characterized by a reduction of serum T3 (fT3), sometimes followed by reduction of serum T4 (fT4). The relationship between thyroid hormones levels and mortality is well known and different studies showed a direct association between NTIS and mortality. The sudden spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV 2) infection (COVID-19) and its high mortality become a world healthcare problem. Our aim in this paper was to investigate if patients affected by COVID-19 presented NTIS and the relationship between thyroid function and severity of this infection. Methods: We evaluated the thyroid function in two different groups of consecutive patients affected by COVID-19 with respect to a control group of euthyroid patients. Group A included patients hospitalized for COVID-19 pneumonia while patients requiring intensive care unit (ICU) for acute respiratory syndrome formed the group B. Group C identified the control group of euthyroid patients. Results: Patients from group A and group B showed a statistically significant reduction in fT3 and TSH compared to group C. In group B, compared to group A, a further statistically significant reduction of fT3 and TSH was found. Conclusions: COVID-19 in-patients can present NTIS. FT3 and TSH serum levels are lower in patients with more severe symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Endocrinological Investigation
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Euthyroid sick syndrome
  • Non-thyroidal illness syndrome
  • SARS-CoV 2
  • Thyroid function
  • Thyroid hormones

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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