Clinical review: Thyroid dysfunction and effects on coagulation and fibrinolysis: a systematic review

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2007 Jul;92(7):2415-20. doi: 10.1210/jc.2007-0199. Epub 2007 Apr 17.


Context: Various changes in the coagulation-fibrinolytic system have been described in patients with an excess or deficiency of thyroid hormones. The purpose of this systematic review is to summarize the effects of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism on these systems.

Evidence acquisition: All published case-control or interventional cohort studies that evaluated the effects of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism on the coagulation-fibrinolytic system in vivo were identified by a computer-assisted search of the MEDLINE and EMBASE electronic databases. A scoring system was used to divide studies into three quality categories: high, medium, and low quality.

Evidence synthesis: A total of 36 papers were included. Because in several papers more than one case-control study or both a case-control and intervention study were described, a total of 39 case-control studies and 24 interventional cohort studies were analyzed. No high-quality study was identified. Three (7.7%) case-control and eight (33.3%) cohort studies were of medium quality. A total of 19 tests were investigated in the medium-quality studies. These tests revealed a hypocoagulable state for overt hypothyroidism and a hypercoagulable state for overt hyperthyroidism.

Conclusions: This analysis confirmed that clinically overt hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism modify the coagulation-fibrinolytic balance, indicating that thyroid hormone excess or deficit is the probable main pathophysiological mechanism. Patients with overt hypothyroidism and overt hyperthyroidism appear to have an increased risk of bleeding and of thrombosis, respectively.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Coagulation / physiology
  • Blood Coagulation Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Blood Coagulation Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Fibrinolysis / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • Thyroid Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Thyroid Diseases / physiopathology*