The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and type of thyroid hormone levels alterations in patients with acute pancreatitis (AP) and analyze if variations are useful AP progression predictors.
Three groups of patients were analyzed: AP patients (n = 90), abdominal pain patients (n = 30), and healthy control subjects (n = 40). Usual blood parameters for AP diagnosis and prognosis, thyroid-stimulating hormone (or thyrotropin), FT4 (free thyroxine), FT3 (free triiodothyronine), and TT3 (total triiodothyronine) levels were analyzed.
Thyroid hormone level alterations were detected only within the AP group (41% of total cases), being the reduction in T3 levels the most frequently detected deviation (15.6% of FT3 and 8.3% of TT3 cases). Alterations were not influenced by age or sex. Free thyroxine average values were also significantly higher in the AP group, compared with the healthy control group (P = 0.0005), resulting as independent predictors of both severity and mortality. Mortality in this group was 50%, with deceased patients showing FT4 levels above the reference limit.
Our results show that FT4 level determination during the initial clinical evaluation of patients admitted to the emergency service with AP can be included as a severity indicator to help determine the differential care of these cases.