Hyperthyroidism

Last revised by Dr Henry Knipe on 20 Sep 2022

Hyperthyroidism refers to increased production and secretion of thyroid hormone from the thyroid gland.

Hyperthyroidism is not synonymous with thyrotoxicosis, the latter referring to a clinical syndrome of excess thyroid hormone 1

Hyperthyroidism may be accompanied by the signs and symptoms of thyrotoxicosis (e.g. heat intolerance, weight loss, tremor). However, it is also possible to have a subclinical form of hyperthyroidism (i.e. lacking thyrotoxicosis), but this is less common 1.

Thyrotoxicosis predisposes patients to a variety of tachydysrhythmias, as well as atrial and ventricular ectopy 2:

  • paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT)
  • non-specific ST segment and T wave changes
    • elderly patients may have rate-related ischemia
  • premature ventricular complexes (PVCs)

There are numerous causes of hyperthyroidism 1:

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