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Relationship of IL-12 and thyroid indices in sepsis


Sickeuthroid syndrome is very frequent in critically ill patients. Cytokines may have a role in this syndrome. IL-12 is involved in the central regulation of the hypothalamic–pituitary–thyroid (HPT) axis during illness. The aim of this study is to evaluate the relationship of IL-12 and thyroid functions in septic patients.

Materials and methods

Twenty-four septic patients and 18 healthy controls were enrolled into the study with the mean ages of 49.9 ± 20.6 and 45.8 ± 22.3 years, respectively. Hyperthyroid and hypothyroid patients were excluded. Free triiodothyronine (fT3), free thyroxine (fT4) and TSH were measured simultaneously with IL-12.


The mean IL-12, fT3, fT4 and TSH values of septic patients and the control group are presented in Table 1. IL-12 was significantly higher in septic patients (19.05 ± 10.7 pg/ml vs 4.8 ± 2.0 pg/ml, P < 0.005). fT3 and TSH values were significantly low in septic patients. There was a significantly strong correlation between IL-12 and fT4 in septic patients but not fT3 and TSH (r = 0.88, P = 000). There was no correlation between IL-12 and other thyroid indices in the control group.

Table 1 abstract P39


According to our findings, IL-12 has a role in HPT dysfunction in most critically ill patients.

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Karakoc, E., Karayaylali, I. & Sunbul, T. Relationship of IL-12 and thyroid indices in sepsis. Crit Care 11 (Suppl 2), P41 (2007).

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