A forgotten life-threatening medical emergency: myxedema coma

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Elisa Pizzolato *
Alberto Peano
Letizia Barutta
Emanuele Bernardi
Elena Maggio
Bartolomeo Lorenzati
Elena Migliore
Attilio Allione
Bruno Maria Tartaglino
(*) Corresponding Author:
Elisa Pizzolato | eli.pizzolato@gmail.com


Nowadays myxedema coma is a rare medical emergency but, sometimes, it still remains a fatal condition even if appropriate therapy is soon administered. Although physical presentation is very non-specific and diversified, physicians should pay attention when patients present with low body temperature and alteration of neurological status; the presence of precipitating events in past medical history can help in making a diagnosis. Here we discuss one such case: an 83-year-old female presented with abdominal pain since few days. Laboratory tests and abdomen computed tomography scan demonstrated alithiasic cholecystitis; she was properly treated but, during the Emergency Department stay she experienced a cardiac arrest. Physicians immediately started advance cardiovascular life support algorithm and she survived. Later on, she was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit where doctors discovered she was affected by severe hypothyroidism. Straightway they started the right therapy but, unfortunately, the patient died in a few hours.

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