Subacute thyroiditis as another secondary effect of COVID-19

SARS-CoV-2 is known to attack the organism in a lot of different ways. The list of secondary consequences keeps growing each day, it includes for example hyperinflammation and hypercoagulopathy with disseminated thrombogenesis and thromboembolism. Recently, the first case of SARS-CoV-2 causing subacute thyroiditis (SAT) was reported.

Subacute thyroiditis is a thyroid disease of viral or post-viral origin characterized by neck pain, general symptoms, and thyroid dysfunction and is usually preceded by an upper respiratory tract infection. There is evidence on its viral and post-viral origin, many viruses are known as potential causative agents, now including SARS-CoV-2.

On February 28th, a 18 year old woman underwent oropharyngeal swab for SARS-CoV-2, which turned out positive. She only developed mild symptoms and recovered in a few days. However, after 2 weeks the patient developed fever, fatigue, palpitations and anterior neck pain radiated to the jaw.

After the examination, it was found that the heart rate was increased and on palpation the thyroid gland was markedly painful and slightly tender and enlarged (thyroid gland was normal during the previous examinations). SAT was diagnosed and the prednisone treatment was prescripted. Neck pain and fever recovered within two days and the remaining symptoms within one week and thyroid function returned to normal in 40 days.

Thus, the first case of SAT caused by SARS-CoV-2 was reported. It is important to collect knowledge about all possible SARS-CoV-2 consequences to have a correct treatment strategy for any cases possible.

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