SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.36 issue1Intensive-care management of snakebite victims in rural sub-Saharan Africa: An experience from UgandaPerceived barriers to the development of the antimicrobial stewardship role of the nurse in intensive care: Views of healthcare professionals author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand



Related links

  • On index processCited by Google
  • On index processSimilars in Google


Southern African Journal of Critical Care (Online)

On-line version ISSN 2078-676X
Print version ISSN 1562-8264


KRUGER, E C; CONRADIE, M; COETZEE, A  and  HOFFMANN, M. An audit of thyroid function testing in acutely ill patients at a South African academic hospital. South. Afr. j. crit. care (Online) [online]. 2020, vol.36, n.1, pp.46-50. ISSN 2078-676X.

BACKGROUND: Non-thyroidal illness syndrome (NTIS) can be defined as the presence of abnormal thyroid function in the absence of primary thyroid dysfunction and is associated with acute illness. Thyroid function testing is generally not advised in the critically ill patient. Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) measurement is the preferred screening test for thyroid disease, but results may be misleading and variable in the setting of critical illnessOBJECTIVE: To describe the pattern of requests for TSH testing in patients admitted to the emergency department and intensive care units at Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town, South AfricaMETHODS: A retrospective, descriptive (observational) study was conducted over a 6-month period to determine the number of requests for TSH testing received for patients admitted to the emergency department and intensive care unitsRESULTS: A total of 1 139 requests for TSH testing were received from the emergency department and intensive care units, of which 166 were excluded. Of the 973 requests evaluated, 14% yielded abnormal results. The majority (79.4%) of the abnormal TSH results were most likely attributed to NTIS. Follow-up TSH results after 6 - 8 weeks were available in only 18% of cases with abnormal TSH levels at initial presentationCONCLUSION: We found that TSH testing was often requested in critically ill patients, but that most results were either normal or indicative of NTIS. Follow-up testing of abnormal TSH results was rarely performed. We recommend continued education of junior clinicians regarding thyroid function testing in critically ill patients

Keywords : audit; cost-saving; non-thyroidal illness syndrome; thyroid function tests; thyroid-stimulating hormone.

        · text in English     · English ( pdf )


Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License