Resistant thyrotoxicosis in a patient with graves disease: a case report.

Taimur Saleem, Aga Khan University
Aisha Sheikh, Agha Khan University
Qamar Masood, Aga Khan University

Case Report.



Background. Conventional management of thyrotoxicosis includes antithyroid drugs, radioactive iodine, and surgery while adjunctive treatment includes beta-blockers, corticosteroids, inorganic iodide and iopanoic acid. Very rarely, patients may be resistant to these modalities and require additional management. Case Presentation. A 50-year-old lady presented with weight loss and palpitations diagnosed as atrial fibrillation. Her past history was significant for right thyroid lobectomy for thyrotoxicosis. Thyroid functions tests at this presentation showed free T4 of 6.63 ng/dl (normal range: 0.93-1.7) and TSH of <0.005 μIU/mL (normal range: 0.4-4.0). She was given aspirin, propranolol, heparin and carbimazole; however free T4 failed to normalize. Switching to propylthiouracil (PTU) did not prove successful. She was then given high doses of prednisolone (1 mg/kg/day) and lithium (400 mg twice daily) which prepared the patient for radioactive iodine treatment by reducing free T4 levels (2.82 ng/dl). Two doses of radioactive iodine were then administered 6 months apart. Subsequently she became hypothyroid and was started on thyroid replacement therapy. Conclusion. This case highlights management options in patients with resistant thyrotoxicosis. Radioactive iodine and surgery are definitive modes of treatment in such complex cases while steroids and lithium play an important role in preparing patients for more definitive treatment.