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Dtsch Med Wochenschr. 2003 Aug 1;128(31-32):1649-52.

[Rhabdomyolysis, hyponatremia and fever in a patient with Schmidt's syndrome].

[Article in German]

Author information

  • 1Klinik für Endokrinologie, Zentrum für Innere Medizin, Universitätsklinikum Essen.



A 38-year-old man had fever (40 degrees C) and a swollen right leg. Two weeks before admission he had received non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (paracetamol and ibuprofen) after a tooth extraction. Some weeks before he had noticed a rough voice and a dry skin.


The patient had a sinus tachycardia of 145/min (blood pressure of 130/80 mm Hg). Laboratory data revealed a CK of 16,650 U/l (< 80 U/l), myoglobin of 2420 U/l (< 90 microg/l) and LDH of 1250 U/l (<240 U/l), leukocyte count of 12,000 / microl and C-reactive protein of 3.0 mg/dl (<0.5 mg/dl). Sodium was markedly decreased (110 mmol/l (135 - 145 mmol/l)). Determination of thyroid hormone showed primary hypothyroidism with an elevated TSH of 62.6 mU/l (0.3 - 4.0 mU/l); T4 of 38 nmol/l (58 - 154 nmol/l), T3 1.17 of nmol/l (1.23 - 3.08 nmol/l) and fT4 of 6 pmol/l (10 - 25 pmol/l). The thyroid autoantibodies were increased (thyroxine peroxidase antibodies of 684 U/l (<35 U/l) and thyroglobulin antibodies of 173 U/l (<40 U/l)). Ultrasound of the thyroid revealed an nonhomogeneous structure. Cortisol at 8.00 a. m. was reduced by 63 mmol/l (180 - 640 mmol/l) and did not increase after administration of ACTH (60 min. cortisol at 90 mmol/l (>550 mmol/l)). ACTH was increased (141 pg/ml; normal range 17 - 52 pg/ml).


The initial therapy consisted of hydrocortisone (100 mg i.v as bolus and 100 mg during the next 24 hours) and levothyroxine replacement (200 micro g) was initiated. During the following 8 days clinical symptoms regressed. Values of sodium, myoglobin and LDH decreased. After therapy with cephalosporin (Ceftriaxon) and penicillin (Flucloxacillin) fever and inflammation parameters decreased.


This is a rare case of a rhabdomyolysis and hyponatriaemia due to hypothyroidism and Addison's disease (Schmidt's syndrome).

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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