Thyrotoxic Periodic Paralysis (Clinical Report)

Thyrotoxic Periodic Paralysis (Clinical Report)

Thyrotoxic periodic paralysis (TPP), a disorder most commonly seen in Asian men, is characterized by abrupt onset of hypokalemia and paralysis. The condition primarily affects the lower extremities and is secondary to thyrotoxicosis. It has been increasingly reported in the USA due to the rise in the immigrant population. Hypokalemia in TPP results from an intracellular shift of potassium induced by the thyroid hormone sensitization of [Na.sup.+]/[K.sup.+]-ATPase rather than depletion of total body potassium. Treatment of TPP includes prevention of this shift of potassium by using nonselective beta-blockade, correcting the underlying hyperthyroid state, and replacing potassium. TPP is curable once a euthyroid state is achieved. It is important for physicians to distinguish TPP from familial hypokalemic periodic paralysis, a more common cause of periodic paralysis in Caucasians. The absence of a family history of paralysis, male sex, presentation in the second to fourth decades of life, and signs of thyrotoxicosis like sinus tachycardia help in the diagnosis of this disorder. Early recognition of TPP is vital to initiating appropriate treatment and to avoiding the risk of rebound hyperkalemia that may occur if high-dose potassium replacement is given. **********

Thyrotoxic Periodic Paralysis (Clinical Report)



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