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Transfus Apher Sci. 2013 Oct;49(2):354-6. doi: 10.1016/j.transci.2013.05.007. Epub 2013 Jun 10.

Role of plasma exchange in autoimmune hyperthyroidism complicated by severe tiamazol-induced cholestatic jaundice.

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  • 1Clinic of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases, Clinical Center of Serbia, Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia; Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia. Electronic address:


Therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE) is an alternative treatment for hyperthyroidism, resulting in a rapid decline in plasma thyroid hormones and anti-thyroid antibodies. TPE has also been used both in primary liver disease and in drug-induced cholestasis. Data on thyrotoxic patients with severe hepatic complications are scarce. Cholestasis induced by imidazol-derived anti-thyroid drugs is extremely rare. The use of TPE for treating this complication was not previously reported. We report the experience of one such patient with a favorable response to TPE. A 45-year-old male patient with Graves' disease, presented with severe jaundice and extremely high serum bilirubin levels due to hepatotoxicity induced by tiamazol. Through extensive investigation primary liver disease, including viral, metabolic, neoplastic and autoimmune disease, as a cause of cholestasis were all ruled out. The patient underwent total of 6 TPEs which in combination with low dose of glucocorticoids and standard supportive measures, resulted in normalization of thyroid hormones and normal liver function tests. TPE provided a safe, rapid and effective treatment of severe drug-induced cholestasis and auto immune hyperthyroidism. From this case we conclude that TPE should be considered as a valuable alternative therapeutic option in thyrotoxic patients with severe complications. Guidelines and indication criteria for TPE treatment in patients with hyperthyroidism are still lacking.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Drug-induced cholestasis; Plasmapheresis; Thyrotoxicosis

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