Myxedema coma is a rare condition requiring emergency care that can occur in a person who has untreated, severe hypothyroidism. It usually occurs in older adults who have other illnesses, such as a serious infection or heart attack, along with their hypothyroidism.
The following life-threatening symptoms may occur:
- Mental deterioration such as apathy, confusion, and psychosis
- Extremely low body temperature (hypothermia)
- Extremely slow heartbeat (fewer than 60 beats per minute)
- Heart failure
- Respiratory failure
Death can occur if myxedema coma is not treated. Emergency treatment may include thyroid hormone replacement given in a vein (intravenously) and steroid therapy.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Matthew I. Kim, MD - Endocrinology|
|Last Revised||July 16, 2010|