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Sept 1961

Myxedema, Shock and Coma: Seven Survival Cases

Author Affiliations


Department of Medicine, University of Southern California School of Medicine, and Chief, Thyroid Clinic, Los Angeles County Hospital (Dr. Catz); Senior Resident in Medicine, College of Medical Evangelists Service, Los Angeles County Hospital (Dr. Russell).

Arch Intern Med. 1961;108(3):407-417. doi:10.1001/archinte.1961.03620090079010

In the last 7 years numerous reports1-15 have appeared in the British Medical literature dealing with myxedema, shock, and coma. A survey of these reports indicates that 19 out of 25 patients died in spite of vigorous treatment with corticosteroids, vasopressors, thyroid compounds, antibiotics, warming, and electrolyte and fluid correction. Frequently, an infectious process was present, and the syndrome of myxedemacoma was characterized in many instances by hypothermia, hypotension, cardiac failure, and low serum and chloride. Death was due to peripheric vascular failure.

In the American medical literature, we have 3 reports16-18 of myxedema-coma. One of these patients was also in shock. There were no survivors.

The object of this study is to report 6 survival cases of myxedema with coma and shock and one survival case of myxedema in shock. We believe they are the first survival cases to be reported in the United States. This study

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