Thyroid storm is a rare, fatal complication of thyrotoxicosis that necessitates aggressive medical treatment. We present a case of a patient who developed duodenal ulcer perforation as a result of a thyroid storm caused by Graves’ thyrotoxicosis. In addition to life-threatening intra-abdominal sepsis complicated by high anion-gap metabolic acidosis, he was found to have severely deranged thyroid hormone levels and clinical features compatible with thyroid storm based on the Burch-Wartofsky Score. Diagnosis and management of such patients with compromised gastrointestinal (GI) tract present a remarkable clinical challenge to the anaesthetist and the intensivists. Multidisciplinary care with rapid preoperative optimisation, careful intraoperative anaesthetic techniques and postoperative care resulted in excellent outcomes. This case report sheds light on how to tailor general anaesthesia to minimise physiological derangement associated with thyroid storm and re-establish homeostasis in patients presenting for emergent surgery, particularly those with GI dysfunction.
- Thyroid disease
- Gastrointestinal surgery
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Contributors We would like to state that all persons who are listed as authors below certify that they have participated sufficiently in the submitted work to take public responsibility for the content. SW conceived the idea of the case report and participated in the design, data collection, analysis, drafting of the manuscript, revision of the manuscript and approval of the final manuscript. DSK participated in the design, analysis, drafting of the manuscript, revision of the manuscript and approval of the final manuscript. CC participated in data collection, analysis, drafting of the manuscript, revision of the manuscript and approval of the final manuscript.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.