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Spontaneous Remission of Encephalopathy Associated with Autoimmune Thyroid Disease in a Patient with Graves’ Disease: A Rare Occurrence in a Rare Clinical Picture

AUTHORS

Yagoub Elfaki 1 , Donal O’Shea 1 , Gianluca Tamagno 2 , *

AUTHORS INFORMATION

1 Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes Mellitus, St Vincent’s University Hospital, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland

2 Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes Mellitus, St Vincent’s University Hospital, University College Dublin, 4 Elm Park, Dublin, Ireland.

How to Cite: Elfaki Y, O’Shea D, Tamagno G. Spontaneous Remission of Encephalopathy Associated with Autoimmune Thyroid Disease in a Patient with Graves’ Disease: A Rare Occurrence in a Rare Clinical Picture, Int J Endocrinol Metab. 2011 ; 9(4):e94656. doi: 10.5812/Kowsar.1726913X.3183.

ARTICLE INFORMATION

International Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism: 9 (4); e94656
Published Online: September 30, 2011
Article Type: Case Report
Received: May 29, 2019
Accepted: September 30, 2011
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Abstract

Encephalopathy associated with autoimmune thyroid disease (EAATD) is a rare condition that may occur in patients with an autoimmune thyroid disease. The clinical presentation of EAATD is characterized by a variety of neurological and/or psychiatric alterations and can show up with focal signs secondary to stroke-like events or generalized symptoms. From a nosological, epidemiological, and diagnostic point of view, EAATD still remains a controversial disorder. Indeed, a widely accepted definition of EAATD has not yet been established, and the diagnosis of this condition is often difficult because of the heterogeneous clinical presentation, the number of possible non-specific manifestations, and poorly defined diagnostic criteria. These factors may inevitably affect the exact estimation of the prevalence of EAATD. From a clinical perspective, the course of EAATD is variable and ranges from response, often dramatic and rapid, to corticosteroids to no or partial response and requirement of other immunosuppressive treatments. Occasionally, spontaneous remission or adverse outcomes have also been reported. Here, we describe the case of a 52-year-old woman who presented with right facial and upper limb numbness and perioral tingling. The laboratory, radiological, and electrophysiological investigations revealed no relevant abnormalities from a neurological point of view. The investigations carried out during hospital admission incidentally disclosed a clinical picture compatible with Graves’ disease, including elevated levels of antithyroid antibodies. However, the cause of her stroke-like episode remained unclear, and the reported symptoms disappeared spontaneously in approximately 10 days. Finally, EAATD characterized by the spontaneous remission of the symptoms was diagnosed, and the patient did not show any relapse or reoccurrence of EAATD thereafter. This intriguing case allows us to focus on and discuss some of the most debatable aspects of EAATD, including its definition, diagnosis, and management.

Keywords

Encephalopathy Autoimmune Thyroid Disease Graves’ Disease

© 2011, International Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits copy and redistribute the material just in noncommercial usages, provided the original work is properly cited.

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