Thyroid function in children with sepsis and septic shock

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A prospective study was conducted to determine thyroid hormone levels and their relationship to survival in children with septic shock and sepsis.


We estimated thyroid hormone levels (T3, T4, TSH, fT3 and fT4) in children with septic shock and compared with those in children with sepsis.


Twenty-four children (13 boys) with septic shock and 25 children (14 boys) with sepsis were enrolled. The median T3, T4, fT3, fT4 and TSH (95% confidence interval) were 40 (40–40.23) ng/dL, 4.45 (1.9–6.03) μg/dL, 1.85 (1.2–2.37) pg/mL, 0.77 (0.57–0.95) ng/dL, 0.51 (0.26–1.15) μIU/mL, respectively in children with septic shock group compared with 130 (98.28–163.48) ng/dL, 9.3 (7.66–10.63) μg/dL, 3.2 (3–4.27) pg/mL, 1.3 (1.1–1.4) ng/dL, 2.85 (1.07–3.61) μIU/mL, respectively, in children with sepsis. Children with septic shock who died (n = 12) had higher TSH levels compared to those who survived (p = 0.04). There was no difference in hormone levels between children with catecholamine responsive and catecholamine resistant septic shock.


Children with septic shock had lower levels of T3, T4, fT3, fT4 and TSH compared to those with sepsis. Findings of our study suggest that derangement of thyroid functions in children is not an important factor contributing to the severity of septic shock.

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