February 1965

Myxedema Ileus

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Medicine, Henry Ford Hospital. Resident in Internal Medicine (Dr. Hohl); Associate Physician, Fifth Medical Division (Dr. Nixon).

Arch Intern Med. 1965;115(2):145-150. doi:10.1001/archinte.1965.03860140025006

Introduction  PARALYTIC ILEUS secondary to myxedema is an exceedingly rare cause of intestinal obstruction and one in which surgical intervention may be disastrous. It exemplifies the ultimate functional expression of the syndrome of gastrointestinal myxedema. A recently observed case of advanced athyrotic myxedema in which a paralytic ileus developed prompted us to ascertain the incidence of this complication in our institution. The records of 89 cases * of myxedema seen at the Henry Ford Hospital from 1953-1963 were reviewed and three additional cases of myxedema ileus, one of which complicated a possible gallstone ileus, were encountered. In view of the paucity of literature dealing with this unusual manifestation of myxedema and to emphasize the importance of its recognition, these four cases are presented.

Report of Cases 

Case 1 (H.F.H. No. 110 82 44).  —A 73-year-old Negro woman was admitted to the Henry Ford Hospital for the first time on July 2,

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