Thyroid hormones act on a large variety of tissues and metabolic processes. The clinical signs of mild or moderate hypothyroidism are well known to physicians, even if the disease is oligosymptomatic.
Myxedema coma is a rare condition with a mortality of around 50 per cent. The diagnosis is sometimes easy if treatment with -thyroxine has been stopped for a long time. In most cases, diagnosis is more difficult and three main clinical features need to be present for the condition to be suspected: altered mental status, defective thermoregulation, and a precipitating event, often in an old patient.
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