What is the prognosis of myxedema coma (crisis)?

Updated: Oct 10, 2018
  • Author: Mohsen S Eledrisi, MD, FACP, FACE; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
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Answer

Myxedema coma is a medical emergency. If the condition is not promptly diagnosed and treated, the mortality rate can be more than 50%. Even with immediate recognition and timely medical intervention, mortality rates are as high as 25%. [8]  

The most common causes of death are respiratory failure, sepsis, and gastrointestinal bleeding.

Myxedema coma carries a high mortality and morbidity rate. Therefore, timely recognition and proper management is critical. Factors suggesting a poor prognosis are older age, persistent hypothermia, or bradycardia, lower degree of consciousness by Glasgow Coma Scale, multiorgan impairment indicated by high APACHE (Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation) II score. [22, 23, 24, 25]  The aforementioned study by Ono et al reported that, as revealed through multivariable logistic regression, a higher inhospital mortality rate was associated with older age and catecholamine use (with or without steroids). [21]


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