Thyroid dysfunction in chronic viral hepatitis [B and C]; An Egyptian pilot study

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Abstract

Aim of the study

The aim of this study was to assess the thyroid dysfunction (TD) and evaluate the value of antithyroglobulin (anti-TG) and antithyroperoxidase (anti-TPO) antibodies (Abs) in the early diagnosis of subclinical hypothyroidism in Egyptian patients with chronic viral hepatitis B and C.

Patients and methods

The study included 40 patients with posthepatitic C virus (HCV) and another 40 patients with posthepatitic B virus (HBV), both groups with compensated liver disease. Patients were classified as Child class A according to the Child-Pugh classification. The following investigations were carried out for all cases: complete blood count, liver function tests, viral markers (HCVAb, quantitative PCR-HCV, HBsAg, and quantitative PCR-HBV), thyroid profile [thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), anti-TG, and anti-TPO Abs], and abdominal ultrasonography.

Results

The current study revealed that the HCV group had slightly elevated serum TSH compared with the HBV group with no statistically significant difference. However, significantly higher levels of anti-TG and anti-TPO Abs were found in the HCV group compared with the HBV group. Moreover, subclinical hypothyroidism was significantly present in the HCV group compared with the HBV group. The current study assessed the diagnostic characteristics of anti-TG of at least 35.0 and anti-TPO of at least 35.0 in the prediction of subclinical hypothyroidism in the HCV group; anti-TG of at least 35.0 was an optimum test, whereas anti-TPO of at least 35.0 was a perfect test in the prediction of subclinical hypothyroidism in the HCV group.

Conclusion

Chronic HCV infection can be associated with the appearance of TD. Antithyroid Abs (anti-TG and anti-TPO Abs) provide valuable information as regards the TD that may occur in patients with both HCV and HBV. Chronic HCV-infected patients should be informed of the risk for TD, and hence the importance of their screening for autoantibodies and serum TSH hormone to assess their medical status.

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