Gestational thyrotoxicosis manifesting as Wernicke encephalopathy: A case report

Fumio Otsuka, Katsuhiko Tada, Toshio Ogura, Nobuhiko Hayakawa, Yukari Mimura, Takayoshi Yamauchi, Nanako Inoue, Hirofumi Makino, Takafumi Kudo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The thyroid gland is physiologically stimulated in normal early pregnancy. This stimulated thyroid function is occasionally termed 'gestational transient thyrotoxicosis'. The cause of this thyrotoxicosis has been clarified to closely it associate with human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). We encountered a pregnant patient with hyperemesis and thyrotoxicosis, who manifested symptoms of Wernicke encephalopathy. Although her serum hCG concentration transiently increased in accordance with the thyrotoxicosis, it was within normal limits for the gestational week. Both the thyrotoxicosis and a catabolic state due to the hyperemesis were thought to have induced a vitamin B1 deficiency, causing the Wernicke encephalopathy. This case suggests that pregnant patients with hyperemesis should undergo careful endocrinological and neurological evaluations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-452
Number of pages6
JournalEndocrine journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1997


  • Gestational thyrotoxicosis
  • Gestational transient hyperthyroidism
  • Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG)
  • Hyperemesis gravidarum
  • Wernicke encephalopathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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