Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci 2005; 9 (1): 69-74

Management of thyrotoxic crisis

A. Migneco, V. Ojetti, A. Testa, A. De Lorenzo*, N. Gentiloni Silveri

Department of Emergency Medicine, Catholic University – Rome (Italy)
*Department of Human Nutrition, University of Tor Vergata – Rome (Italy)

The thyrotoxic crisis is a medical emergency caused by an exacerbation of the hyperthyroid state characterized by decompensation of one or more organ systems. Early recognition and aggressive treatment are fundamental in limiting the morbidity and mortality associated with this condition. The crisis has an abrupt onset, and is evoked by a precipitating factor such as infectious diseases, ketoacidosis, acute trauma, thyroidal surgery, 131-I radio-metabolic treatment, administration of iodine-containing materials (amiodarone), parturition. The clinical picture is characterized by four main features: fever, tachycardia or supraventricular arrhythmias, central nervous system symptoms and finally gastrointestinal symptoms. The diagnosis of thyrotoxic crises is often made on the basis of clinical findings alone, since it is difficult in most emergency departments to obtain rapid confirmatory laboratory or nuclear medicine tests. The ultrasound thyroid scan, if available in the emergency room, may suggest an hyperthyroid state showing typical images of Basedow’s disease or nodular goiter with their characteristic color-Doppler pattern of hyperactivity, easily distinguishable from a normal gland. The principles of thyroid storm treatments are: reduction of circulating TH’s levels; inhibition of the peripheral effects of circulating thyroid hormones (TH); supportive care, in order to reverse systemic decompensation and treatment of the underlying precipitating event.

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A. Migneco, V. Ojetti, A. Testa, A. De Lorenzo*, N. Gentiloni Silveri
Management of thyrotoxic crisis

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci
Year: 2005
Vol. 9 - N. 1
Pages: 69-74