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Case Reports in Medicine
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 314262, 5 pages
Case Report

Case of Thyrotoxic Periodic Paralysis in a Caucasian Male and Review of Literature

1Section of Endocrinology, Tulane University Health Sciences Center, 1430 Tulane Avenue, SL-53, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA
2Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care Systems, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA
3Southeast Georgia Department of Health, Waycross, LA 31501, USA
4Tulane University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA
5Sanofi Pasteur India Ltd, Mumbai 400093, India
6University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA 70148, USA
7St. Joseph Mercy Oakland, Pontiac, MI 48341, USA

Received 7 August 2014; Revised 4 October 2014; Accepted 6 October 2014; Published 17 November 2014

Academic Editor: Ting Fan Leung

Copyright © 2014 Tina K. Thethi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. Thyrotoxic periodic paralysis (TPP), a known condition in Asian men, is becoming increasingly common in men from Western countries. Since suspicion for TPP as a differential in diagnosis is of utmost importance to avoid overcorrection of hypokalemia and other complications, we are reporting a case of TPP in a 25-year-old Caucasian male. Methods. The patient presented with intermittent lower extremity weakness after consumption of a large high-carbohydrate meal. Clinical examination revealed diffusely enlarged thyroid gland, no muscle power in lower extremities, tremors, and brisk deep tendon reflexes. Results. Clinical and laboratory findings were consistent with Graves’ disease and the patient had hypokalemia. The patient responded to potassium repletion and was treated with propylthiouracil and propranolol. After treatment with radioactive iodine, the patient developed postablative hypothyroidism for which he was treated with levothyroxine. Conclusion. Since this condition is overlooked by physicians in Western countries, we present a case of TPP in a Caucasian male thus showing the importance of consideration of TPP in Caucasians despite its rare occurrence and the need for prompt diagnosis to avoid the danger of hyperkalemia in management of the paralytic attack in TPP patients.