Life-threatening thyrotoxicosis. Thyroid storm

Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 1993 Jun;22(2):263-77.


Although important strides in recognition and therapy have significantly reduced the mortality in this disorder from the nearly 100% fatality rate noted by Lahey, survival is by no means guaranteed. More recent series have yielded fatality rates between 20% and 50%. Although some authors have attributed this improvement, in part, to a relaxation of the diagnostic criteria for thyroid storm, it more likely represents improvements in early recognition and the beneficial effects of the serial addition of antithyroid, corticosteroid, and antiadrenergic therapies to the treatment of this disorder. Thyroid storm is a dreaded, fortunately rare complication of a very common disorder. Most cases of thyroid storm occur following a precipitating event or intercurrent illness. Effective management is predicated on a prompt recognition of impending thyroid storm which is, in turn, dependent on a thorough knowledge of both the typical and atypical presentations of this disorder. An unwavering commitment to an aggressive, multifaceted therapeutic intervention as outlined herein is critical to the obtainment of a satisfactory outcome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Thyroid Crisis* / diagnosis
  • Thyroid Crisis* / physiopathology
  • Thyroid Crisis* / therapy