Hypothyroidism Manifesting as Multiple Cranial Neuropathies

A Case Report

Matthias Hepprich; Johannes Lorscheider; Nils Peters; Matthias Johannes Betz


J Med Case Reports. 2019;13(180) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Introduction: The clinical picture of hypothyroidism, including neurological symptoms, can be multiform, which may delay or hamper the correct diagnosis.

Case presentation: We present an uncommon clinical presentation of a 38-year-old Caucasian man with mild facial palsy on the left side, uvular deviation to the left with preserved gag reflex, tongue deviation to the left, lingual dysarthria, and xerosis by severe hypothyroidism. Blood tests on admission showed elevated serum creatinine of 151 μmol/L (glomerular filtration rate 47 ml/min/1.7 CKD-EPI [Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration equation]), increased creatinine phosphokinase activity (1243 U/L), markedly elevated thyroid-stimulating hormone (292.2 mIU/L), low free thyroxine level (1.1 pmol/L), and free triiodothyronine level below the limit of detection (< 0.4 pmol/L). Results of brain magnetic resonance imaging and renal ultrasound were unremarkable. Lumbar puncture revealed a normal cell count in cerebrospinal fluid, with an increased protein level of 758 mg/L and a cerebrospinal fluid/serum albumin ratio of 10.5 × 10−3/L (reference range < 6.7). Further diagnostic workup did not reveal any inflammatory or infectious systemic pathologies as an underlying cause. The patient's neurological symptoms, as well as laboratory findings including renal function, creatinine phosphokinase, and initially altered blood lipid levels, normalized with levothyroxine substitution.

Conclusions: Multiple cranial neuropathy is an uncommon clinical finding in hypothyroidism, which is an important differential diagnosis in the workup of new neurological deficits.