Myxedema Coma in a Hypothermic, Obtunded Patient with Post-renal Acute Kidney Injury and Bacteremia in the Intensive Care Unit

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Hernan Dario Franco Lopez
Sameer Sharif
John Centofanti

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Abstract

We present a case of a hypothermic, unconscious patient transferred to our Intensive Care Unit with sepsis requiring mechanical ventilation. The absence of any known past medical history as well as concurrent obstructive uropathy and bacteremia made initial diagnosis challenging. He was eventually found to be in myxedema coma in light of evolving signs and laboratory investigations. This case emphasizes the need to consider myxedema coma in the differential diagnosis of profound hypothermia, especially when other clinical signs and symptoms may obscure its initial diagnosis, and lead clinicians to focus on the triggering event in isolation rather than concurrently managing hypothyroidism. This case highlights a challenging presentation of an uncommon, but life-threatening condition. We discuss the signs and symptoms present in the hypothyroid patient with myxedema coma; emphasize the pathophysiology of myxedema coma as well as the evidence-based acute management of this condition.

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