An unusual case of myxedema megacolon with features of ischemic and pseudomembranous colitis

Robin Patel, R. W. Hughes

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Myxedema megacolon is rare; usually, it manifests with abdominal distention, flatulence, and constipation. Herein we describe a 72-year-old man who had intermittent diarrhea, bloating, and abdominal pain for more than a year. Cultures of stool specimens for Clostridium difficile enterotoxin were variably positive and negative. Colonoscopic biopsy specimens were thought to be consistent with chronic ischemia. Thyroid function tests showed severe hypothyroidism; the patient's symptoms resolved with thyroid hormone replacement. We hypothesize that gross dilatation of the colon, attributed to myxedema, was followed by intestinal ischemia and complicated by recurrent episodes of pseudomembranous colitis. A review of the relevant literature is provided. This unusual manifestation of myxedema should be considered in the differential diagnosis when a patient has diarrhea, bloating, and abdominal pain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)369-372
Number of pages4
JournalMayo Clinic Proceedings
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1992


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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