A Post COVID-19 changes in the structure and function of the thyroid in patients with autoimmune thyroiditis with hypothyroidism
COVID-19 is a severe immunosuppressive disease that can cause changes in the clinical course of autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune thyroiditis (AIT) is no exception. It is relevant to study the features of the clinical course of existing AIT in the post-COVID-19 period. The work aims to study the changes in the structure and function of the thyroid in patients with AIT with subclinical and manifest compensated hypothyroidism who had moderate COVID-19. A total of 123 patients aged 21–49 with AIT with subclinical hypothyroidism – 43 (group 1, 12 of whom had moderate COVID-19) and manifest hypothyroidism in the stage of medical compensation – 80 (group 2, 32 of whom had moderate COVID-19). The duration of AIT ranged from 4 to 13 years. In all cases, upon inclusion in the study and 2 and 6 months after it, changes in the structure of the thyroid gland were studied according to ultrasound data, as well as its functional capacity and the degree of compensation of hypothyroidism according to the thyroid-stimulating hormone indicator. In all patients with AIT, COVID-19 caused the progression of structural changes in the thyroid within one of two variants of the ultrasound picture of thyroiditis – hypoechoic heterogeneous or pseudo micronodular. The hormone-producing function also changed: in 7 out of 12 patients of group 1 of the main subgroup, hypothyroidism changed from subclinical to manifest hypothyroidism in the postoperative period, and in all patients of group 2 of the main subgroup, a further decrease in hormone synthesis was noted. In the post-COVID-19 period, patients with AIT undergo a progression of structural changes in the thyroid gland and a decrease in the synthesis of thyroid hormones.