What causes abnormal thyroid function test findings in euthyroid sick syndrome?

Updated: Aug 28, 2020
  • Author: Serhat Aytug, MD; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Alterations in thyroid function test findings may reflect changes in production of thyroid hormone by effects on the thyroid itself, on the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis, on peripheral tissue metabolism of the hormones, or by a combination of these effects.

A general conviction exists that patients with thyroid function test result abnormalities do not have hypothyroidism despite the low serum hormone levels in blood and low T3 in most of the tissues. Many patients with NTI also receive drugs that affect thyroid hormone regulation and metabolism. This discussion does not consider pharmacologic interference an intrinsic part of the spectrum of changes in hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid function that occur in NTI. Consider pharmacologic interferences as part of the evaluation of a patient who has thyroid function test result abnormalities.

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