Thyroid function abnormalities in HIV-infected patients

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Abnormal thyroid function test results are common among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients. Although the prevalence of overt thyroid disease does not appear to be significantly increased in HIV-infected patients, compared with the general population, specific patterns of abnormal thyroid function test findings are more frequently identified among HIV-infected patients. Among patients with advanced acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, nonthyroidal illness (i.e., euthyroid sick syndrome) is common. During antiretroviral therapy, the prevalence of 2 generally asymptomatic conditions (subclinical hypothyroidism, which is characterized by isolated elevated thyroid-stimulating hormone levels, and isolated low free thyroxine levels) is increased. In addition, Graves disease, which is marked by low thyroid-stimulating hormone and elevated thyroxine levels, may occur during immune reconstitution. Testing for thyroid disease among symptomatic patients should begin with measurement of the thyroid-stimulating hormone level. However, there is insufficient evidence to recommend routine thyroid screening of asymptomatic HIV-infected individuals. This review summarizes the current evidence regarding the optimal laboratory evaluation of thyroid function; highlights the causes, presentation, and treatment of thyroid dysfunction in HIV-infected patients; and discusses the controversies regarding screening.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)488-494
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 15 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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