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Myxedema Coma 

Myxedema Coma
Chapter:
Myxedema Coma
Author(s):

Jacquelyn E. Allison

, and Julie D. Dunlap

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190226459.003.0034
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date: 23 September 2020

Thyroid hormones influence every metabolic function of the body. Inadequate amounts of circulating thyroid hormone cause dysfunction of two systems in particular that result in abnormal responses to anesthesia: the central nervous system and the cardiovascular system. Physiologic compensation for the slow onset of hypothyroidism can mask the degree of dysfunction and make diagnosis challenging. Stressors associated with surgery and anesthesia can aggravate coexisting hypothyroidism and trigger severe life-threatening hypothyroidism (myxedema). This chapter reviews the pathophysiology involved in hypothyroidism, identifies populations at risk for myxedema coma, and provides a stepwise treatment plan for these patients.

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