J Korean Dysphagia Soc.  2018 Jul;8(2):126-131. 10.0000/jkdps.2018.8.2.126.

Swallowing Difficulty due to Hypothyroid Myopathy: A Case Report

  • 1Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Bucheon St. Mary's Hospital, College of Medicine, Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea. lafoliamd@gmail.com


Musculoskeletal symptoms, such as muscle weakness, stiffness and pain, are observed frequently in patients with hypothyroidism. In theory, hypothyroidism can cause weakness of the swallowing muscles, but dysphagia associated with hypothyroidism-associated myopathy has not been reported. The present case involved a 51-year-old man who experienced acute onset of severe dysphagia with aspiration pneumonia. A video fluoroscopic swallowing study and fiberoscopic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing revealed pharyngo-laryngeal function impairment. With a prior history of subclinical hypothyroidism and clinical symptoms such as proximal limb weakness, further evaluation involving a hormonal study, electrodiagnostic study, and histopathology assessment revealed myopathy. Hormone replacement therapy was started and the patient recovered within three weeks of treatment and was taking a regular diet. In conclusion, this study suggests that it is necessary to consider further evaluations to determine if hypothyroid myopathy is involved in the case of unknown origin dysphagia accompanied by hypothyroid myopathy.


Deglutition disorder; Myopathy; Hypothyroidism
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