Objective: Graves disease is the most common cause of thyrotoxicosis. Medical management is the first-line treatment but may be contraindicated or ineffective. In patients with severe, refractory thyrotoxicosis therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE) may be indicated as a bridge to thyroidectomy. Methods: We present 3 cases of thyrotoxicosis refractory to medical management that were successfully treated with TPE and subsequent total thyroidectomy, and provide an analysis of the response to therapy via a change in free thyroxine (fT4) levels throughout their treatment course. Results: The average change in fT4 per liter of fluid exchanged was 0.37 ng/dL (SD = 0.08) and the average percentage change of fT4 after each treatment was 20.7% (SD = 8.28). The mean decrease in fT4 after 4 TPE treatments was 57.4%. All patients successfully underwent total thyroidectomy without complication and were discharged from the hospital. Conclusion: TPE should be considered for thyrotoxic patients with severe hyperthyroidism or thyroid storm refractory to medical management or contraindications to antithyroid drugs who need a bridge to total thyroidectomy. In these cases, TPE was a safe and effective treatment that enabled definitive management with thyroidectomy and may be considered in other patients with severe refractory hyperthyroidism or thyrotoxicosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism