A Case of Thyroid Crisis With Worsening Jaundice Despite Improvements in Heart Failure

Hiroshi Yamaguchi, Ayaka Takahashi, Atsuhisa Shirakami, Norihito Kageyama, Ken-ichi Kitazoe, Hiroyuki Fujinaga


We herein present a case of a 33-year-old woman who was referred to our hospital for dyspnea on effort 2 months before her admission. Although diffuse enlargement of the thyroid gland occurred at the age of 23, she did not undergo detailed medical examinations. She was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism due to Graves’ disease, and the administration of methimazole was initiated at a dosage of 30 mg/day. She had congestive heart failure, rapid atrial fibrillation, and disseminated intravascular coagulation on admission. Thyroid crisis was diagnosed based on the diagnostic criteria of the Japan Endocrine Society (second edition). Although cardiac function and heart failure symptoms improved, her total bilirubin level continued to increase and peaked at 28.8 mg/dL. Her bilirubin level was reduced by anti-thyroid drugs and eventually normalized in parallel with improvements in thyroid function. Jaundice may have occurred as a secondary consequence of cholestasis due to hyperthyroidism because other causes such as drug-induced or autoimmune liver dysfunction were ruled out. We herein report a rare case of thyroid crisis with worsening jaundice despite improvements in heart failure. This case demonstrated that obtaining a detailed medical history and a careful examination of the clinical course were useful for reaching the differential diagnosis of severe jaundice and achieving steady improvements in this serious medical condition.

J Endocrinol Metab. 2016;6(2):59-63
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.14740/jem345w


Thyroid crisis; Graves’ disease; Jaundice; Atrial fibrillation; Heart failure; Cholestatic hepatic injury

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