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Thyrotoxic periodic paralysis: reports of seven patients presenting with weakness in an Asian emergency department
  1. S Hiong Goh
  1. Accident and Emergency Department, Changi General Hospital, Singapore Correspondence to: Dr S Hiong Goh, Accident and Emergency Department, Changi General Hospital, no 2, Simei Street 3, Singapore 529889, Republic of Singapore;
 cghgsh{at}pacific.net.sg

Abstract

Objectives: This study was done to describe the features of thyrotoxic periodic paralysis in young Asian men.

Methods: Seven male patients were enlisted who presented to the emergency department over a period of three years with weakness and paralysis in the morning.

Results: Initial electrolyte studies revealed hypokalaemia in these patients, and later thyroid function tests confirmed thyrotoxicosis for all. Only two of these patients had clinical symptoms and signs of thyrotoxicosis, the others being asymptomatic.

Conclusions: Early morning paralysis can be the first manifestation of hyperthyroidism in Asian men, without the other more typical symptoms of weight loss, increased appetite, excitability, sweaty palms or goitre. Treatment to a euthyroid state will ameliorate the syndrome.

  • thyroid disease
  • hypokalaemic periodic paralysis

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Footnotes

  • Funding: none.

  • Conflicts of interest: none.