Pediatric Hyperthyroidism Differential Diagnoses

Updated: Nov 03, 2015
  • Author: Sunil Kumar Sinha, MD; Chief Editor: Stephen Kemp, MD, PhD  more...
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Diagnostic Considerations

Onset of hyperthyroidism symptoms can be gradual, and patients are often referred for psychiatric or neurologic evaluation before the correct diagnosis is made.

Failure to diagnose hyperthyroidism, particularly in patients with psychiatric disorders, can have serious consequences for both the patients and individuals in their communities.

Thyroid storm is a life-threatening condition characterized by fever, altered mental status, and exaggerated signs and symptoms of hyperthyroidism. It is quite rare in children, especially since the advent of pretreatment for surgery and radiotherapy. Because no specific laboratory findings define this condition, any suspicion that a patient has thyroid storm should result in immediate referral to a pediatric intensive care unit and consultation with a pediatric endocrinologist.

Trauma to the neck area in a patient with Graves disease could precipitate thyroid storm.

Differential Diagnoses