Myxoedema ascites-Rare presentation of long standing hashimotos thyroiditis

Case Report

Author Details : Shubham Sharma, Garima Shah*, Bikram Shah

Volume : 6, Issue : 3, Year : 2021

Article Page : 204-206

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Introduction: Hypothyroidism is among the common clinical conditions which are encountered in the medicine OPD. An autoimmune disorder called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is a common cause for hypothyroidism followed by over response to hyperthyroidism treatment, radiation therapy, medications, congenital disease etc. Patients can present with sensitivity to cold, weight gain, constipation, menstrual abnormalities, and slow mentation with irritability, dry skin, hair loss, and fatigue. Rarely, uncontrolled hypothyroidism can present as pericardial effusion, pleural effusion and ascites. Ascites as the feature of hypothyroidism is uncommon and only less than four percent of patients with hypothyroidism /develop ascites.As it is rarely presented as ascites so its diagnosis is delayed but once it is diagnosed, treatment leads to clinical improvement.
Case Report: A 20-year-old female presented to medicine OPD with non- tender abdominal distension, vomiting. She was a known case of Hashimoto's thyroiditis an autoimmune disorder; however, she was not compliant to thyroid medication. All necessary investigations were carried out to rule out the cause for ascites. With all the negative reports including imaging and supportive fluid cytology we attributed the symptoms to uncontrolled hypothyroidism as the patient was non-compliant to the thyroid medications. Also the picture of macrocytic anaemia in our patient supported the diagnosis. She was started on levothyroxine and was counselled. On a follow-up visit there was dramatic improvement of all the symptoms including ascites and her TSH was normal-2.017.
Discussion: Ascites as a symptom of hypothyroidism is rare and its pathophysiology is not fully understood however there are few theories and studies in the past which do explain ascites as the manifestation of hypothyroidism.
Conclusions: Severe uncontrolled hypothyroidism though uncommon but can cause ascites. Being a reversible cause of ascites, it becomes important for clinicians to take hypothyroidism as one of the differential diagnosis for ascites. Our case supports the need of taking hypothyroidism as one of the cause, as it is easily treatable and patient can show dramatic improvement.
Keywords: Hashimoto's thyroiditis, Uncontrolled hypothyroidism, Ascites

How to cite : Sharma S, Shah G, Shah B, Myxoedema ascites-Rare presentation of long standing hashimotos thyroiditis. IP Indian J Immunol Respir Med 2021;6(3):204-206

Copyright © 2021 by author(s) and IP Indian J Immunol Respir Med. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (

Article History

Received : 11-05-2021

Accepted : 02-09-2021

Available online : 29-09-2021

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