What is the role of thyroid evaluations in a critically ill person?

Updated: Mar 03, 2021
  • Author: Philip R Orlander, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
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Answer

Other abnormalities seen in patients who are critically ill include decreased TBG levels and abnormalities in the hypothalamic-pituitary axis. During recovery, some patients have transient elevations in serum TSH concentrations (up to 20 mIU/L). Hence, thyroid function should not be evaluated in a critically ill person unless thyroid dysfunction is strongly suspected, and if evaluation is warranted, screening with TSH alone is insufficient. When needed, however, multiple thyroid hormone measurements over time may assist with interpretation.


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