The Egyptian Journal of Internal Medicine | 2019
Thyroid dysfunction in Egyptian patients with hepatitis C virus: prevalence and possible triggering
Background The contribution of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection per se in thyroid autoimmunity and dysfunction remains controversial. We investigate the prevalence of thyroid disorders and the possible association between thyroid dysfunction and different factors in a cohort of HCV-untreated patients. Patients and methods A total 1050 patients with untreated HCV infection were enrolled in this study. Thyroid function tests, antiperoxidase (TPO-Ab), antithyroglobulin, thyroid ultrasound, real-time PCR to assess HCV RNA viral load, and fibroscan to determine degree of hepatic fibrosis were done. Results Thyroid dysfunction was found in 17.1% of patients: 11.5% hypothyroidism and 5.6% hyperthyroidism. Subclinical hypothyroidism, overt hypothyroidism, subclinical hyperthyroidism, and overt hyperthyroidism were detected in 8.6, 2.8, 3.3, and 2.3% of patients, respectively. Thyroid ultrasound showed abnormality in 10.2% of patients. TPO-Ab and antithyroglobulin were positive in 5.1 and 6.4% of patients, respectively. TPO-Ab was more frequently positive in hyperthyroid patients compared with euthyroid (P<0.001) and hypothyroid (P<0.001) patients. Positive TPO-Ab was only significantly associated with thyroid state (P<0.001) and duration of HCV infection (P=0.02). Conclusion The prevalence of thyroid dysfunction is 17.1% among patients with HCV infection. Furthermore, thyroid disorder is related mainly to thyroid autoimmunity independent of age, sex, or level of viremia.