Thyrotoxicosis and renal tubular acidosis presenting as hypokalaemic paralysis in the postpartum period

Felicity J.L. Kaplan, Hilton Kaplan, Peter Berman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In summary, we present a case of coexisting Grave's thyrotoxicosis and distal renal tubular acidosis causing hypokalaemic paralysis, hypocalcaemia, hypercalciuria and polyuria. Thyrotoxicosis, acquired postnatally, might have aggravated the hypokalaemia induced by RTA, and precipitated muscle weakness in our patient. Since Graves's disease often remits during pregnancy, with exacerbation postpartum, it is possible that her thyrotoxicosis may have predated the pregnancy. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first reported case of thyrotoxicosis and renal tubular acidosis presenting as hypokalaemic paralysis and complicated by hypocalcaemic tetany. It highlights the importance of a meticulous search for the cause of hypokalaemic paralysis in a female thyrotoxic patient. Failure to recognise and promptly treat thyrotoxicosis complicating distal RTA can result in potentially serious metabolic sequelae, including hypokalaemic paralysis, severe dehydration and hypocalcaemic tetany.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-73
Number of pages3
JournalSouth African Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Volume8
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2002
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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