A rare case of thyrotoxic periodic paralysis presenting to the medical examiner

Matthew P. Thompson, J. Keith Pinckard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Thyrotoxic periodic paralysis is a rare and dramatic complication of hyperthyroidism. Thyrotoxic periodic paralysis classically presents with proximal lower limb weakness in the setting of hypokalemia and thyrotoxicosis. Thyrotoxic periodic paralysis represents an endocrine emergency with a rapidly ascending paralysis that can result in respiratory insufficiency, cardiac arrhythmias, and death if not accurately and rapidly diagnosed. We report a case of undiagnosed fatal thyrotoxic periodic paralysis presenting to the medical examiner. The diagnosis was made primarily by review of the clinical history.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)232-235
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011



  • Ascending paralysis
  • Autopsy
  • Hyperthyroid
  • Hypokalemia
  • Sudden death
  • Thyrotoxic periodic paralysis
  • Thyrotoxicosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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