Thyroid profiles in a patient with resistance to thyroid hormone and episodes of thyrotoxicosis, including repeated painless thyroiditis.

Thyroid : official journal of the American Thyroid Association

PubMedID: 23240983

Taniyama M, Otsuka F, Tozaki T, Ban Y. Thyroid profiles in a patient with resistance to thyroid hormone and episodes of thyrotoxicosis, including repeated painless thyroiditis. Thyroid. 2013;23(7):898-901.
BACKGROUND
Thyrotoxic disease can be difficult to recognize in patients with resistance to thyroid hormone (RTH) because the clinical symptoms of thyrotoxicosis cannot be observed, and thyrotropin (TSH) may not be suppressed because of hormone resistance. Painless thyroiditis is a relatively common cause of thyrotoxicosis, but its occurrence in RTH has not been reported. We assessed the thyroid profile in a patient with RTH and episodes of thyrotoxicosis who experienced repeated painless thyroiditis.

PATIENT FINDINGS
A 44-year-old Japanese woman with RTH, which was confirmed by the presence of a P453A mutation in the thyroid hormone receptor ß (TRß) gene, showed a slight elevation of the basal levels of thyroid hormones, which indicated that her pituitary RTH was mild. She experienced a slight exacerbation of hyperthyroxinemia concomitant with TSH suppression. A diagnosis of painless thyroiditis was made because of the absence of TSH receptor antibodies, low Tc-99m pertechnetate uptake by the thyroid gland, and transient suppression followed by a slight elevation of TSH following the elevation of thyroid hormones. The patient's complaints of general malaise and occasional palpitations did not change throughout the course of painless thyroiditis. Three years later, painless thyroiditis occurred again without any deterioration of the clinical manifestations.

CONCLUSIONS
Mild pituitary RTH can be overcome by slight exacerbation of hyperthyroxinemia during mild thyrotoxicosis. When pituitary resistance is severe and TSH is not suppressed, thyrotoxicosis may be overlooked.