Surviving the storm: two cases of thyroid storm successfully treated with plasmapheresis

BMJ Case Rep. 2012 Oct 19;2012:bcr2012006696. doi: 10.1136/bcr-2012-006696.


Thyroid storm is a rare, but critical, illness that can lead to multiorgan failure and carries a high death rate. The following case series describes two adult men with Graves' disease who presented in thyroid storm and either failed or could not tolerate conventional medical management. However, both patients responded well to plasmapheresis, which resulted in clinical and biochemical stabilisation of their disease processes. The treatment option of plasmapheresis should be considered as a stabilising measure, especially when patients have failed or cannot tolerate conventional therapy. Plasmapheresis leads to amelioration of symptoms and a significant decline in thyroid hormone levels, providing a window to treat definitively with thyroidectomy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Graves Disease / blood
  • Graves Disease / complications
  • Graves Disease / surgery
  • Graves Disease / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Plasmapheresis*
  • Thyroid Crisis / blood
  • Thyroid Crisis / etiology
  • Thyroid Crisis / therapy*
  • Thyroid Hormones / blood
  • Thyroidectomy*


  • Thyroid Hormones