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Am J Med. 2004 Jul 1;117(1):10-3.

Thyroid disorders in chronic hepatitis C.

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Department of Internal Medicine and CNR Institute of Clinical Physiology, University of Pisa School of Medicine, Pisa, Italy.



To explore the association of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection with thyroid disorders.


We investigated the prevalence of thyroid disorders in 630 consecutive patients with chronic hepatitis due to HCV infection; all patients were free of cirrhosis and hepatocarcinoma, and were not on interferon treatment. Also included were a control group of 389 subjects from an iodine-deficient area, another control group of 268 persons living in an area of iodine sufficiency, and 86 patients >40 years of age with chronic hepatitis B. Levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), free thyroxine (T(4)), and triiodothyronine (T(3)), as well as anti-thyroglobulin and anti-thyroid peroxidase antibodies, were measured.


Mean TSH levels were higher (P = 0.001), and free T(3) and free T(4) levels were lower (P <0.0001), in patients with chronic hepatitis C than in all other groups. Patients with chronic hepatitis C were more likely to have hypothyroidism (13% [n = 82]), anti-thyroglobulin antibodies (17% [n = 108]), and anti-thyroid peroxidase antibodies (21% [n = 132]) than were any of the other groups.


Both hypothyroidism and thyroid autoimmunity are more common in patients with chronic hepatitis C-even in the absence of cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, or interferon treatment-than in normal controls or those with chronic hepatitis B infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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