Reference Index - Disease & Conditions

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Thyroid gland
Thyroid gland


Thyroid storm

Definition:

Thyroid storm is a life-threatening condition that develops in cases of untreated thyrotoxicosis (hyperthyroidism ).



Alternative Names:

Thyrotoxic storm; Hyperthyroid storm; Accelerated hyperthyroidism



Causes, incidence, and risk factors:

Thyroid storm results from untreated hyperthyroidism. It is usually brought on by a stress such as trauma or infection.



Symptoms:

Symptoms are severe and may include:



Signs and tests:
  • The top number in a blood pressure reading may be high
  • Increased heart rate

Blood tests are done to evaluate thyroid function.



Treatment:



Support Groups:



Expectations (prognosis):



Complications:

Congestive heart failure and pulmonary edema can develop rapidly and lead to death.



Calling your health care provider:

This is an emergency condition. Call 911 or another emergency number if you have hyperthyroidism and experience symptoms of thyroid storm.



Prevention:



References:

AACE Thyroid Task Force. American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists medical guidelines for clinical practice for the evaluation and treatment of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Endocr Pract. 2002;8(6):457-469.

Ladenson P, Kim M. Thyroid. In: Goldman L and Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders; 2007:chap 244.

Davies TF, Larsen PR. Thyrotoxicosis. In: Kronenberg HM, Melmed S, Polonsky KS, Larsen PR, eds. Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2008:chap 11.




Review Date: 5/10/2010
Reviewed By: Ari S. Eckman, MD, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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