Issue: 2006 > June > case report

Status epilepticus caused by a myxoedema coma

H.J. Jansen, , E.S. Louwerse, J.C. van der Linden, P.M. Netten


The case of a 63-year-old woman who presented with
status epilepticus, coma and hypoventilation is reported.
A primary neurological cause was considered. Hypothermia led to further investigations and a diagnosis of severe hypothyroidism. The neurological complications of hyperthyriodism include alteration in mental status with slowness, decreased concentration and lethargy, headache, cranial nerve palsies, dysarthria, hoarseness, myopathy, neuropathy, reflex changes, ataxia, and psychotic episodes. Our patient suffered from a rare consequence of severe hypothyroidism presenting with status epilepticus and she died despite treatment. To our knowledge this is the second patient to be reported with myxoedema coma with this kind of presentation. Despite therapeutic options, there is a high mortality rate.