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Dysphagia. 2004 Spring;19(2):120-4.

Dysphagia as a manifestation of thyrotoxicosis: report of three cases and literature review.

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Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University and National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.


Myopathy is frequently associated with thyrotoxicosis. Skeletal muscles are predominantly involved in thyrotoxic myopathy, but dysphagia is extremely rare. We report three cases of thyrotoxicosis with dysphagia and review of the literature of the past 30 years. Most of these patients had antecedent muscle weakness before the onset of dysphagia although some suffered from a sudden onset of bulbar palsy. Either a myopathic or neuropathic pattern was found on electromyography. The incidence of oropharyngeal dysphagia was higher than that of esophageal motility dysfunction. Aspiration pneumonia occurred more accompanied by oropharyngeal dysphagia. The swallowing disorder could be resolved completely within 3 weeks after treatment for thyrotoxicosis. In light of these clinical experiences, early intensive treatment that includes antithyroid agent, beta-blocker, and Lugol solution may be necessary.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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