Thyroid function, cytokine and IGF-IGFBP interactions in cystic fibrosis patients

Horm Res. 2005;63(4):206-10. doi: 10.1159/000085839. Epub 2005 May 17.


Background/aims: Thyroid function impairment has been sporadically described in cystic fibrosis (CF) and ascribed to iodine overload or selenite deficiency. In this study we evaluated thyroid function in CF in order to verify these data and to evaluate if the modifications were related to serum levels of markers of inflammation and growth factors that we have previously shown to be altered in CF.

Methods: Seventeen young adult CF patients and 18 age-matched controls were enrolled in this study. The diagnosis of CF was confirmed by genetic analysis. None was treated with pulmonary expectorants. Serum IL-1beta, IL-6, TNF-alpha, IGF-I, IGF-II, IGFBP-2, IGFBP-3, TSH, fT3 and fT4 were measured using standard commercial kits.

Results: TSH, fT3 and fT4 serum levels were similar in CF patients and controls. Within the patient group, thyroid function did not vary in relation to C-reactive protein serum levels, respiratory function and clinical conditions (Shwachman score). No correlation was found with any growth factor or cytokine analyzed.

Conclusions: At variance with the few previously published data, we did not detect any difference in thyroid function in patients with CF compared with normal healthy subjects. This could be due to the fact that no iodine overload or selenite deficiency was present in our patients. Thyroid function seemed independent of markers of inflammation and IGF-IGFBP serum levels.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cystic Fibrosis / blood*
  • Cytokines / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 3 / blood*
  • Male
  • Thyroid Function Tests
  • Thyroid Gland / physiopathology*
  • Thyroid Hormones / blood*


  • Biomarkers
  • Cytokines
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 3
  • Thyroid Hormones