Sick Euthyroid Syndrome on Presentation of Patients With COVID-19: A Potential Marker for Disease Severity

Yair Schwarz, Ruth Percik, Bernice Oberman, Dana Yaffe, Eyal Zimlichman, Amir Tirosh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Precise risk stratification and triage of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients are essential in the setting of an overwhelming pandemic burden. Clinical observation has shown a somewhat high prevalence of sick euthyroid syndrome among patients with COVID-19. This study aimed to evaluate the predictive value of free triiodothyronine (FT3) at the clinical presentation of COVID-19 for disease severity and death. Methods: This retrospective cohort study was based on electronic medical records. The study was conducted at Sheba Medical Centre, a tertiary hospital where several acute and chronic wards have been dedicated to the treatment of patients with COVID-19. The primary outcome measure was death during hospitalization; secondary outcomes included hospitalization in intensive care, mechanical ventilation, and length of hospitalization. Results: Of a total of 577 polymerase chain reaction-positive patients with COVID-19 hospitalized between February 27 and July 30, 2020, 90 had at least 1 measurement of thyroid-stimulating hormone, free thyroxine, and FT3 within 3 days of presentation. After applying strict exclusion criteria, 54 patients were included in the study. Patients in the lowest tertile of FT3 had significantly higher rates of mortality (40%, 5.9%, and 5.9%, P = .008), mechanical ventilation (45%, 29.4%, and 0.0%; P = .007) and intensive care unit admission (55%, 29.4%, and 5.9%, P = .006). In multivariate analyses adjusted for age, Charlson comorbidity index, creatinine, albumin, and white blood cell count. FT3 remained a significant independent predictor of death. Conclusion: FT3 levels can serve as a prognostic tool for disease severity in the early presentation of COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-109
Number of pages9
JournalEndocrine Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • COVID-19
  • FT3
  • prognostic factors
  • sick euthyroid syndrome


Dive into the research topics of 'Sick Euthyroid Syndrome on Presentation of Patients With COVID-19: A Potential Marker for Disease Severity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this