Myxedema coma is a rare, often fatal endocrine emergency that concerns elderly patients with long-standing primary hypothyroidism; myxedema coma of central origin is exceedingly rare. Here, we report a 37-year-old woman in whom classical symptoms of hypothyroidism had been absent. Six years earlier, she had severe obstetric hemorrage and, shortly after, two subsequent episodes of pericardial effusion. On the day of admission, pericardiocentesis was performed for the third episode of pericardial effusion. Because of the subsequent grave arrhythmias and unconsciousness, she was transferred to our ICU. Prior to the endocrine consultation, a silent myocardial infarction had been suspected, based on the extremely high serum levels of creatine kinase (CK) and isoenzyme CK-MB. However, based on thyroid sonography, pituitary computed tomography, elevated titers of antithyroid antibodies and pituitary stimulation tests, the final diagnosis was myxedema coma of dual origin: an atrophic variant of Hashimoto's thyroiditis and post-necrotic pituitary atrophy (Sheehan syndrome). Substitutive therapy caused a prompt clinical amelioration and normalization of CK levels. Our patient is the first case of myxedema coma of double etiology, and illustrates how its presentation deviates markedly from the one endocrinologists and physicians at ICU are prepared to encounter. In addition, cardiac problems as those of our patient should not discourage from substitutive treatment (using L-thyroxine and the gastrointestinal rout of absorption), if the age is relatively low.

Myxedema coma of both primary and secondary origin, with non- classic presentation and extremely elevated creatine kinase

BENVENGA, Salvatore;ARRIGO, Francesco;TRIMARCHI, Francesco
2000

Abstract

Myxedema coma is a rare, often fatal endocrine emergency that concerns elderly patients with long-standing primary hypothyroidism; myxedema coma of central origin is exceedingly rare. Here, we report a 37-year-old woman in whom classical symptoms of hypothyroidism had been absent. Six years earlier, she had severe obstetric hemorrage and, shortly after, two subsequent episodes of pericardial effusion. On the day of admission, pericardiocentesis was performed for the third episode of pericardial effusion. Because of the subsequent grave arrhythmias and unconsciousness, she was transferred to our ICU. Prior to the endocrine consultation, a silent myocardial infarction had been suspected, based on the extremely high serum levels of creatine kinase (CK) and isoenzyme CK-MB. However, based on thyroid sonography, pituitary computed tomography, elevated titers of antithyroid antibodies and pituitary stimulation tests, the final diagnosis was myxedema coma of dual origin: an atrophic variant of Hashimoto's thyroiditis and post-necrotic pituitary atrophy (Sheehan syndrome). Substitutive therapy caused a prompt clinical amelioration and normalization of CK levels. Our patient is the first case of myxedema coma of double etiology, and illustrates how its presentation deviates markedly from the one endocrinologists and physicians at ICU are prepared to encounter. In addition, cardiac problems as those of our patient should not discourage from substitutive treatment (using L-thyroxine and the gastrointestinal rout of absorption), if the age is relatively low.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11570/1581056
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