Severe depression and rhabdomyolysis as “masks” of primary hypothyroidism: clinical cases

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Abstract

Rationale: Primary hypothyroidism is one of the most common endocrine disorders. Difficulties in its diagnosis are related to the lack of specific and pathognomonic clinical symptoms of the disease. It is not infrequent that before the right diagnosis is made, patients with hypothyroidism go a  long way of examinations and consultations of various specialists; we have illustrated this by two clinical cases.

Clinical case No. 1 was a 69-year old woman with a  late diagnosis of severe primary hypothyroidism. Despite the presence of typical clinical signs of hypothyroidism, such as epidermal and edematous syndromes, encephalopathy, depression, and anemia, some clinical patterns (significant weight loss, ascites, low cholesterol, protein, electrolyte levels, and severe anemia) directed the diagnostic search towards oncology. It was the oncologist who was the first to suggest hypothyroidism that was later confirmed by high thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels.

Clinical case No. 2 was a case of hypothyroidism in a young man with a baseline history of kidney disease. Fatigue, myalgia, neurological abnormalities, cytolysis and hypercholesterolemia were the leading symptoms that progressed steadily and led to disability.

Conclusion: These clinical cases demonstrate the variety of clinical symptoms in manifest hypothyroidism and emphasize the significance of high awareness of this disorder among various medical specialties. It is of note that laboratory tests to diagnose primary hypothyroidism are very simple and available (high serum TSH level is enough for the diagnosis) and treatment with levothyroxine sodium is very effective. 

About the authors

T. I. Kulagina

Petrozavodsk State University

Author for correspondence.
Email: tik141@mail.ru

Tatiana I. Kulagina – MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Chair of Hospital Therapy, Institute of Medicine,

33 Lenina prospekt, Petrozavodsk, Republic of Karelia, 185910

Russian Federation

N. V. Koriakova

Petrozavodsk State University

Email: fake@neicon.ru

Nina V. Koriakova – MD, PhD, Assistant, Chair of Hospital Therapy, Institute of Medicine,

33 Lenina prospekt, Petrozavodsk, Republic of Karelia, 185910

Russian Federation

O. A. Rodionova

Petrozavodsk State University

Email: fake@neicon.ru

Olga A. Rodionova – Assistant, Chair of Hospital Therapy, Institute of Medicine,

33 Lenina prospekt, Petrozavodsk, Republic of Karelia, 185910

Russian Federation

N. N. Vezikova

Petrozavodsk State University

Email: fake@neicon.ru

Natalia N. Vezikova – MD, PhD, Head of the Chair of Hospital Therapy, Institute of Medicine,

33 Lenina prospekt, Petrozavodsk, Republic of Karelia, 185910

Russian Federation

I. I. Kannoeva

V.A. Baranov Republican Hospital

Email: fake@neicon.ru

Irina I. Kannoeva – MD, Head of Endocrinology Department,

3 Pyrogova ul., Petrozavodsk, Republic of Karelia, 185019

Russian Federation

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Copyright (c) 2019 Kulagina T.I., Koriakova N.V., Rodionova O.A., Vezikova N.N., Kannoeva I.I.

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