II. Definitions

  1. Thyroid Storm
    1. Severe Thyrotoxicosis

III. Causes

  1. Uncontrolled Hyperthyroidism (esp. Graves Disease) with concurrent acute stress
    1. Pulmonary Infection (most common cause)
    2. Myocardial Infarction
    3. Trauma
  2. Other, uncommon causes
    1. Graves Disease following Radioactive Iodine therapy

IV. Precautions

  1. Elderly may present with minimal signs of Thyrotoxicosis (apathetic Thyroid Storm) with CHF, stupor to coma

V. Symptoms

VI. Signs

  1. Fever >39 C (102 F)
  2. Sinus Tachycardia
  3. Profuse sweating
  4. High output cardiac failure
  5. Tachyarrhythmias (esp. Atrial Fibrillation)
  6. Altered Level of Consciousness (Delirium or Psychosis)

VIII. Associated Conditions

  1. New onset Atrial Fibrillation
  2. New onset, unexplained Congestive Heart Failure

IX. Labs

  1. Broad based lab evaluation to cover differential diagnosis
  2. Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
    1. Suppressed in most cases
    2. Increased in TRH-Secreting Tumors (10-15% of Thyroid Storm cases)
  3. Free T4
    1. Increased

XI. Management

  1. General Measures
    1. Manage Airway
    2. Supplemental Oxygen
    3. Intravenous Fluids
    4. Cooling blanket and other external cooling
      1. Avoid active cooling due to worsening the Vasoconstriction already present with Thyroid Storm
    5. Use Acetaminophen for fever
    6. Avoid Salicylates and NSAIDS due to their increase of T4 and T3
      1. NSAIDS and Salicylates dislodge T4 from protein binding and allow for conversion to the more active T3
    7. Treat concurrent infection (often inciting event)
  2. Step 1: Heart Rate control (Beta Blockers are preferred)
    1. Beta Blockers (preferred)
      1. Beta Blockers slow rate AND decrease peripheral conversion from T4 to the more active T3
      2. Propranolol 10-20 mg IV every 4 hours (or 60 to 80 mg every 4 hours)
      3. Metoprolol 5-10 mg IV every 2-4 hours (or Metoprolol Tartrate 50 mg every 6 hours)
      4. Esmolol 50-100 mcg/kg/min IV
    2. Diltiazem (if Beta Blockers are contraindicated)
      1. Calcium Channel Blockers do not decrease peripheral conversion from T4 to the more active T3
      2. Diltiazem 0.25 mg/kg IV bolus over 2 min, then 10 mg/h IV (or 60-90 mg orally every 6-8 hours)
  3. Step 2: T4 and T3 Synthesis suppression with Thionamides
    1. Methimazole 20-40 mg every 8 hours IV, PO, PR, per NG
      1. Methimazole is preferred in second and third trimesters of pregnancy
    2. Propylthiouracil (PTU) 200-400 mg every 8 hours PO, PR, per NG
      1. Propylthiouracil is preferred in first trimester of pregnancy
  4. Step 3: T4 and T3 Release suppression
    1. Do NOT give before synthesis suppression (see step 2)
      1. May otherwise promote new Thyroid hormone synthesis
    2. Saturated Solution Potassium iodide (SSKI)
      1. Dose: 5 drops mixed in fluid or food every 6 hours for at least 2 days
      2. Initiate at least one hour after antithyroid medication
  5. Step 4: T4 to T3 conversion suppression with Glucocorticoids
    1. Hydrocortisone 100 mg IV every 8 hours
      1. Also counters autoimmune process in Graves
      2. Manages concurrent Adrenal Insufficiency

XII. Complications

  1. Atrial Fibrillation
  2. Congestive Heart Failure
    1. Critical to distinguish between high output Heart Failure and low output Heart Failure
    2. Bedside Ultrasound
      1. Hyperdynamic heart activity is more consistent with high output Heart Failure

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Ontology: Thyroid Crisis (C0040127)

Definition (NCI) Acute onset of severe, life-threatening hyperthyroidism caused by a sudden release of excessive thyroid hormone.(NICHD)
Definition (MSH) A dangerous life-threatening hypermetabolic condition characterized by high FEVER and dysfunction of the cardiovascular, the nervous, and the gastrointestinal systems.
Concepts Disease or Syndrome (T047)
MSH D013958
ICD10 E05.5
SnomedCT 190262002, 29028009
English Crisis, Thyrotoxic, Storm, Thyrotoxic, Thyroid Crisis, Thyroid Storm, Thyrotoxic Crisis, Thyrotoxic Storm, Crisis, Thyroid, Storm, Thyroid, THYROID STORM, THYROTOXIC STORM, Thyroid crisis or storm, THYROTOX STORM, THYROTOX CRISIS, CRISIS THYROTOX, thyrotoxic crisis (diagnosis), thyrotoxic crisis, thyroid crisis (storm), thyrotoxic storm, Crisis thyroid, Thyroid Crisis [Disease/Finding], thyroid storm, storm thyroid, crisis thyroid, thyrotoxic crises, thyroid crisis, thyroid storms, Thyroid crisis (disorder), Thyroid storm, Thyrotoxic crisis, Thyroid crisis, Thyrotoxic crisis (disorder), crisis; thyroid, crisis; thyrotoxic, storm; thyrotoxic, thyroid; crisis, thyrotoxic; crisis, thyrotoxic; storm
French HYPERTHYROIDIE, Crise thyroïdienne aiguë, Basedowisme aigu, Crise thyréotoxique, Crise thyrotoxique
Spanish CRISIS TIROIDEA, Tormenta tiroidea, Crisis tiroidea, Tormenta Tiroidea, Tormenta Tirotóxica, Tempestad Tiroidea, Tempestad Tirotóxica, crisis tiroidea, crisis tirotóxica (trastorno), crisis tirotóxica, tormenta tiroidea, Crisis tirotóxica, Crisis Tiroidea, Crisis Tirotóxica
Italian Crisi tireotossica, Crisi tirotossica, Tempesta tireotossica, Tempesta tiroidea, Crisi tiroidea
Dutch schildkliercrisis, crisis schildklier, thyreoïdstorm, crisis; schildklier, crisis; thyrotoxisch, schildklier; crisis, storm; thyrotoxisch, thyrotoxisch; crisis, thyrotoxisch; storm, Thyrotoxische crisis of storm, thyreotoxische crisis, Crisis, thyrotoxische, Thyreotoxicose, Thyreotoxische crisis, Thyreotoxische storm, Thyrotoxicose, Thyrotoxische crisis, Thyrotoxische storm
German thyreotoxischen Krise, Krise thyreotoxisch, SCHILDDRUESENHORMNE MASSIV ERHOEH, thyreotoxische Krise, Hyperthyreote Krise, Thyreoidale Krise, Thyreotoxische Krise
Portuguese Crise tiroideia, Tempestade tiroideia, TEMPESTADE TIROIDEIA, Crise tirotóxica, Crise Tireóidea, Crise Tireotóxica, Tempestade Tireóidea, Tempestade Tireotóxica
Swedish Tyreotoxisk kris
Japanese コウジョウセンクリーゼ, コウジョウセンチュウドククリーゼ, 甲状腺ストーム, コウジョウセンストーム, クリーゼ-甲状腺, 甲状腺急性発症, 甲状腺クリーゼ, 甲状腺中毒クリーゼ, 甲状腺中毒急性発作, 甲状腺中毒発症, 甲状腺急性発作, 甲状腺発症
Czech tyreotoxická krize, Tyreoidní bouře, Tyreotoxická krize, Tyreoidní krize, tyreotoxické kóma
Finnish Hypertyreoottinen kriisi
Korean 갑상샘 중독발증 또는 급성발작
Polish Przełom tarczycowy
Hungarian Pajzsmirigy crisis, Hyperthyreosisos crisis, Hyperthyreotikus crisis
Norwegian Tyreotoksisk krise