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Related to myxedema: Myxedema coma


(mĭksədē`mə), condition associated with severe hypothyroidism and lack of thyroid hormone in the adult. In the child it is known as cretinismcretinism
, condition produced in infants and children due to lack of thyroid hormone. It usually results from a congenital defect (e.g., absence of the thyroid, presence of only a rudimentary gland, inability of the gland to produce thyroxine).
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. Symptoms include a dry swelling of the skin, slowed speech and mental awareness, deepened voice, intolerance to cold, fatigue and weakness, and nonspecific degeneration of the heart. Most cases result from atrophy of the thyroid from unknown causes, although surgical removal or irradiation of the gland also precipitates the disorder. Myxedema is treated by administering synthetic preparations of thyroxine (thryoid hormone), liothyronine (triiiodothyronine), a combination of the two synthetic hormones, and desicated animal thyroid.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a disease caused by thyroid insufficiency (hypothyroidism) or complete thyroid failure. Thyroid and hypothalamic-pituitary myxedema are differentiated.

Thyroid myxedema may be congenital—resulting from abnormal intrauterine development, toxicoses of pregnancy, or intrauterine infection (syphilis, viral infections)—or acquired—resulting from injury or acute or chronic inflammation of the thyroid gland. This form of myxedema may also result from an autoimmune reaction against the body’s own thyroglobulin. Hypothalamic-pituitary myxedema is due to functional and organic changes that interfere with the production of the TSH-releasing factor of the hypothalamus or the thyrotropic hormone of the pituitary.

The main symptoms of myxedema are mucous edema of the skin and subcutaneous tissue, dry skin, sluggishness, drowsiness, poor memory, physical and mental lassitude, lowered basal metabolism, constant sensitivity to cold, lowered blood pressure, slow pulse, and intestinal sluggishness causing constipation. Myxedematous children suffer from dwarfism, slow bone growth, late eruption of the teeth, brittleness of nails, and mental disorders. Treatment includes the regular administration of thyroid preparations (thyroidin) and triiodothyronine.


Baranov, V. G. Bolezni endokrinnoi sistemy i obmena veshchestv. [Leningrad] 1955.
Tareev, E. M. Vnutrennie bolezni, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1957.
Mnogotomnoe rukovodstvo po patologicheskoi fiziologii, vol. 4. Moscow [1966]. Pages 228–29.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


A condition caused by hypothyroidism characterized by a subnormal basal metabolic rate, dry coarse hair, loss of hair, mental dullness, anemia, and slowed reflexes.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


(US), myxedema
a disease resulting from underactivity of the thyroid gland characterized by puffy eyes, face, and hands and mental sluggishness
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
[sup][3]reported patients with PTM who presented with erythema and thickening of the forehead or localized myxedema on the nasal dorsum.
Finally, the work-up of hyponatremia resulted in the diagnosis of myxedema crisis caused by severe autoimmune hypothyroidism.
In the hypofunction of thyroid (myxedema), depression manifests clinically by the diminution of affective resonance and initiative, the restraint of the sphere of interests.
More extreme presentations have also been reported, with many associated complications including hypokalemic EKG changes, atrial fibrillation, myxedema, renal tubular acidosis, nystagmus, deafness, and deaths from cardiac and respiratory depression.
Long-term deficiency can cause myxedema, which affects the skin, and skeletal deformities.
Myxedema and pericardial effusion with cardiac tamponade (a case report).
Graves' disease can present with hyperthyroidism, ophthalmopathy, pretibial myxedema, acropathy, and their various combinations.
Myxedema, acromegaly and amyloidosis increase nerve compression, causing volume narrowing in the canal region through the accumulation of the disease specific material in the tunnel or in the passage.
Cutting soft and thickened skin revealed myxedema. The removal of skin from swelling in neck revealed two massive lobes of thyroid gland.
Moreover, severe hypothyroidism and myxedema may be connected with normal or even low weight and overt hypothyroidism does not appear to be more common in obese subjects than in the general population [16].