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J Emerg Med. 2015 Jan;48(1):35-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2014.09.012. Epub 2014 Oct 12.

Thyroid storm-induced multi-organ failure in the setting of gestational trophoblastic disease.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, New York Hospital Queens,(1) an affiliate of New York Presbyterian Hospital and the Weill-Cornell Medical College, New York, New York.



Thyroid storm is a potentially life-threatening complication of gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD), with varying clinical severity. It should be considered in patients with GTD, abnormal vital signs, and clinical signs of hyperthyroidism.


A 45-year-old non-English-speaking patient presented to a New York City hospital in November 2011 with an aborting molar pregnancy and severe hemorrhage. Initial presentation was concerning for GTD. Laboratory values were obtained that confirmed the diagnosis of GTD, which was also by thyroid storm and congestive heart failure. This was evidenced by laboratory values of free thyroxine of 4.9 and beta human chorionic gonadotropin of 1,488,021 IU/mL. Dilation and curettage with 16-mm suction catheter was performed until all products of conception were removed and bleeding was controlled. The patient was admitted to the surgical intensive care unit and proceeded to have multi-organ failure, and remained intubated and unresponsive to verbal/visual and tactile stimuli. On postoperative day 13 the patient suddenly became alert and self-extubated, began to communicate verbally, and resolution of her multi-organ failure became evident. The patient was discharged with Gynecologic Oncology follow-up. Why should an emergency care physician be aware of this? This case represents the dangers associated with poor prenatal care and late diagnosis of molar pregnancy. It also represents the need for immediate recognition of the condition and initiation of appropriate medical care. Although this patient's clinical outcome was good, the event could have been prevented had she received reliable medical care.


hemorrhage associated with molar pregnancy; molar pregnancy; multi-organ failure; thyroid storm

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