Thyroid Function During and After COVID-19 Infection: A Review

touchREV Endocrinol. 2022 Jun;18(1):58-62. doi: 10.17925/EE.2022.18.1.58. Epub 2022 Jun 13.


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection can lead to multiorgan dysfunction through pulmonary and systemic inflammation. Infection also affects the thyroid gland directly via cytopathological effects of the virus or indirectly through cytokines, complement systems and coagulation mechanisms. The thyroid gland regulates innate and adaptive immune systems by genomic and nongenomic pathways. During or after SARS-CoV-2 infection, Graves' disease and subacute thyroiditis might be triggered resulting in hyperthyroidism; alternatively, the effect of the virus on the hypophyseal.hypothalamic axis might cause central hypothyroidism. Severe cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) can present with hypoxia, which requires the use of dexamethasone. This can depress basal serum concentrations of 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine. Thyroid function should be monitored when using dexamethasone in patients with COVID-19. This article briefly reviews the direct and indirect effects of SARS-CoV-2 on the thyroid gland and function.

Keywords: COVID-19; De Quervain thyroiditis; Graves' disease; Hashimoto thyroiditis; Sars-coV-2; baricitinib; coronavirus; euthyroid sick syndrome; hypothyroidism; subacute thyroiditis.

Publication types

  • Review

Grant support

Support: No funding was received in the publication of this article.