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Case Reports in Medicine
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 9454698, 5 pages
Case Report

Thyrotoxicosis and Choledocholithiasis Masquerading as Thyroid Storm

Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, WA, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Christian L. Horn

Received 12 May 2017; Revised 9 July 2017; Accepted 24 July 2017; Published 23 August 2017

Academic Editor: Bruno Megarbane

Copyright © 2017 Christian L. Horn and Patricia A. Short. 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.


A 26-year-old female, thirteen months postpartum, presented to the emergency department for four weeks of epigastric abdominal pain, pruritus, new onset jaundice, and 11.3 kgs (25 lbs) unintentional weight loss. On examination, she was afebrile, tachycardic, alert, and oriented and had jaundice with scleral icterus. Labs were significant for undetectable TSH, FT4 that was too high to measure, and elevated total bilirubin, direct bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, and transaminases. Abdominal ultrasound revealed cholelithiasis without biliary ductal dilation. Treatment for presumed thyroid storm was initiated. Further work-up with magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) revealed an obstructing cholelith within the distal common bile duct. With the presence of choledocholithiasis explaining the jaundice and abdominal pain, plus the absence of CNS alterations, the diagnosis of thyroid storm was revised to thyrotoxicosis complicated by choledocholithiasis. Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatogram (ERCP) with sphincterotomy was performed to alleviate the biliary obstruction, with prompt symptomatic improvement. Thyroid storm is a rare manifestation of hyperthyroidism with a high rate of morbidity and mortality. The diagnosis of thyroid storm is based on clinical examination, and abnormal thyroid function tests do not correlate with disease severity. Knowledge of the many manifestations of thyroid storm will facilitate a quick and accurate diagnosis and treatment.