Which physical findings are characteristic of thyroid storm?

Updated: Mar 16, 2020
  • Author: Madhusmita Misra, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Robert P Hoffman, MD  more...
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Answer

Physical findings include the following:

  • Fever

    • Temperature consistently exceeds 38.5°C.

    • Patients may progress to hyperpyrexia.

    • Temperature frequently exceeds 41°C.

  • Excessive sweating

  • Cardiovascular signs

    • Hypertension with wide pulse pressure

    • Hypotension in later stages with shock

    • Tachycardia disproportionate to fever

    • Signs of high-output heart failure

    • Cardiac arrhythmia (Supraventricular arrhythmias are more common, [eg, atrial flutter and fibrillation], but ventricular tachycardia may also occur.)

  • Neurologic signs

    • Agitation and confusion

    • Hyperreflexia and transient pyramidal signs

    • Tremors, seizures

    • Coma

  • Signs of thyrotoxicosis

    • Orbital signs

    • Goiter

  • Rhabdomyolysis - Rare cases have been reported following a diagnosis of thyroid storm in adults [15]


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