<- Home <- Arhive <- Vol. 23, Issue 4, December 2015

Rom J Leg Med23(4)233-242(2015)
© Romanian Society of Legal Medicine

Sudden thyroid death. A systematic review

S. Hostiuc, L. Luca, D. B. Iliescu, M. I. Dascălu, E. Drima, I. Rențea, A. Moldoveanu, M. Ceaușu, D. Pirici

Abstract: Sudden death due to thyroid disorders is a rare occurrence in forensic practice. Marked changes of thyroid plasma hormones in short periods of time are known to be life threatening, but they are usually identifiable in patients with known thyroid disorders, and therefore do not comply with the definition of sudden death. In order to properly identify published sudden thyroid death cases we performed an extensive search on Web of Science. We found 31 articles containing case presentations of possible sudden thyroid deaths, from which were identified a total number of 42 cases. There are three main thyroid pathologies associated with sudden unexpected death: hyperthyroidism (usually in the context of a Graves’ disease or toxic multinodular goiter), hypothyroidism (usually associated with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis), and lymphocytic thyroiditis (most likely associated with lymphocytic hypophysitis). We also present a diagnosis algorithm for detecting thyroid and related pathologies in sudden unexpected deaths.
Keywords: sudden thyroid death, lymphocytic thyroiditis, Graves’ disease.

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