Subacute Thyroiditis after COVID-19: A Literature Review

Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2022 Sep 6;107(5):1074-1082. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.21-1223. Print 2022 Nov 14.


Subacute thyroiditis (SAT), potentially caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection, has been reported as a complication of COVID-19 since 2020. The clinical characteristics and outcomes of SAT after COVID-19 remain incompletely defined. Therefore, we aimed to collect and survey case reports of SAT after COVID-19. We performed a systematic search of PubMed/MEDLINE, Web of Science, and Google Scholar. The keywords and MeSH terms used for the searches were "subacute thyroiditis" and "COVID-19." A total of 38 patients from 26 case reports, case series, and letters on SAT associated with COVID-19 were included and analyzed. The most frequent SAT symptom was neck pain (27 cases), followed by fever (22 cases). Of the 25 cases with information on the duration between onset of COVID-19 symptoms and onset of SAT symptoms, the shortest was simultaneous occurrence, and the longest was 4 months. In most cases, patients developed SAT at several days or weeks after the onset of COVID-19. All patients with SAT recovered with no severe complications or sequelae. Clinicians should be aware of the possibility of SAT development in patients with neck pain and fever following COVID-19. Further research is necessary to determine the relationship between SAT and COVID-19.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / complications
  • Fever / etiology
  • Humans
  • Neck Pain / etiology
  • Thyroiditis, Subacute* / complications
  • Thyroiditis, Subacute* / diagnosis