What is thyroid storm and how is it treated?
Thyroid storm is a hypermetabolic and sympathetic cri-sis caused by a sudden surge in thyroid hormones. Triggers of thyroid storm include infection, surgery, and pain. Thyroid storm presents with hypertension, tachycardia, and hyperthermia, and is easily confused with malignant hyperthermia and pheochromocytoma. However, the profound metabolic acidosis that occurs in malignant hyperthermia does not occur during thyroid storm and plays an important role in differentiating between the two disorders.
The immediate treatment of thyroid storm is the administration of β-blockade agents to alleviate the symp-toms. Hyperthermic patients should be actively cooled. There are case reports of effective treatment of thyroid storm with dantrolene; however, this is not routinely recommended at this time. After initial control of the symptoms, the patient should receive PTU and potassium iodide.