Thyrotoxicosis and thyroid storm

Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 2006 Dec;35(4):663-86, vii. doi: 10.1016/j.ecl.2006.09.008.


Thyroid storm represents the extreme manifestation of thyrotoxicosis as a true endocrine emergency. Although Grave's disease is the most common underlying disorder in thyroid storm, there is usually a precipitating event or condition that transform the patient into life-threatening thyrotoxicosis. Treatment of thyroid storm involves decreasing new hormone synthesis, inhibiting the release of thyroid hormone, and blocking the peripheral effects of thyroid hormone. This multidrug, therapeutic approach uses thionamides, iodine, beta-adrenergic receptor antagonists, corticosteroids in certain circumstances, and supportive therapy. Certain conditions may warrant the use of alternative therapy with cholestyramine, lithium carbonate, or potassium perchlorate. After the critical illness of thyroid storm subsides, definitive treatment of the underlying thyrotoxicosis can be planned.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Antithyroid Agents / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Thyroid Crisis* / blood
  • Thyroid Crisis* / diagnosis
  • Thyroid Crisis* / drug therapy
  • Thyroid Crisis* / pathology
  • Thyroxine / blood
  • Triiodothyronine / blood


  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists
  • Antithyroid Agents
  • Triiodothyronine
  • Thyroxine