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Profile of thyrotoxic patients presenting as pyrexia of unkown origin: An observational case study from a tertiary care hospital

Nazir Ahmad Pala, Mohd Ashraf, Badrinath Bhoughal


Objective: To study the profile of thyrotoxic patients evaluated for pyrexia of unknown origin (PUO). Methods: 25 patients, who were evaluated for pyrexia of unknown origin and found to have thyrotoxicosis as the cause for fever, were managed as per the recommended protocol and followed for 12 months. Results: All the patients were presumed to have infectious fever and had received antibiotics prior to diagnosis. Out of 25 patients, 20 (80%) had subacute thyroiditis (SAT) and 5 (20%) had hyperthyroidism (4 had Graves disease and 1 toxic adenoma). Patients with hyperthyroidism received thionamides and β- blockers. 50% patients with subacute thyroiditis received analgesics, 25% received steroids only and 25% received a combination of analgesics and steroids. Early-onset transient hypothyroidism occurred in 40% patients with SAT, permanent hypothyroidism was less common and only 15% of patients were receiving levothyroxine therapy after one year of follow-up. Conclusion: Thyrotoxicosis should always be included in the differential diagnosis while evaluation of patients with PUO. Most of the patients with thyrotoxicosis are wrongly misinterpreted as infectious PUO and given unnecessary antibiotics. Early-onset transient hypothyroidism is common in SAT compared to permanent hypothyroidism. Although, symptomatic relief is achieved with analgesics and steroids but does not prevent the development of hypothyroidism.

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