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Open Access Open Badges Case report

Thyroxine and cardiac electrophysiology—a forgotten physiological duo?

James Ker

Author Affiliations

Department of Physiology, University of Pretoria, PO Box 24318, Gesina, Pretoria 0031, South Africa

Thyroid Research 2012, 5:8  doi:10.1186/1756-6614-5-8

Published: 22 August 2012


Thyroid hormone exerts numerous effects on the cardiovascular system. Hypothyroidism can lead to various electrocardiographic and mechanical changes in the heart and blood vessels.

The potential risk for sudden cardiac death in patients with hypothyroidism have never been properly explored. However, numerous reports of various electrocardiographic changes indicative of such a risk has been published.

In this case report the occurrence of ventricular late potentials in a case of overt hypothyroidism is described and furthermore, the disappearance of these potentials with T4 treatment alone is shown.

It is concluded that the concept that undiagnosed and/or untreated hypothyroidism poses a risk for sudden cardiac death is worth exploring.

Hypothyroidism; Late potentials; Sudden cardiac death