THYROID DYSFUNCTION INDUCED BY RECOMBINANT INTERFERON-ALPHA THERAPY FOR CHRONIC ACTIVE TYPE C HEPATITIS
Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the frequency and types of thyroid dysfunction that develops during IFN-a therapy in patients of Chronic Hepatitis C.
Study Design: Case control study
Place and Duration of Study: Department of Chemical Pathology and Endocrinology, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Rawalpindi.
Methods: The study was carried out on a total of 50 patients of chronic hepatitis C on recombinant IFN-a therapy. In addition 50 patients with chronic hepatitis C, not on any antiviral treatment, were included as controls. After informed consent, clinical history was obtained, physical examination was done and findings recorded on a pre-designed proforma. Blood sampling was done for thyroid profile at the beginning of interferon therapy, at 12 weeks and finally at 24 weeks.
Results: Thyroid dysfunction (TD) was observed in 14% (n=7) of the patients on antiviral therapy for CHC (n=50).Amongst these seven patients with TD, hypothyroidism was observed in 5 and hyperthyroidism in 2 patients. In contrast the frequency of thyroid dysfunction observed in control group (n=50) was 2%.
Conclusion: The frequency of thyroid dysfunction in patients of chronic hepatitis C treated with interferon approaches 14%, with hypothyroidism being the more commonly observed pattern.