Nonthyroidal illness syndrome and euthyroid sick syndrome in intensive care patients

Semin Perinatol. 2008 Dec;32(6):413-8. doi: 10.1053/j.semperi.2008.09.010.


This article reviews the pathophysiology of non-thyroidal illness syndrome (NTIS) and euthyroid sick syndrome (ESS), a multifactorial phenomenon characterized by suppression of thyroid hormone levels that has been described in several disease states, probably due to different causes in different patients. It also describes the laboratory values of thyroid function tests (TFTs), relevant animal studies, the association of NTIS and ESS with cardiovascular problems and sepsis, and the rationale for treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Critical Care
  • Euthyroid Sick Syndromes / blood
  • Euthyroid Sick Syndromes / physiopathology*
  • Euthyroid Sick Syndromes / therapy
  • Humans
  • Infant, Extremely Low Birth Weight
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Thyroxine / blood
  • Triiodothyronine / blood


  • Triiodothyronine
  • Thyroxine