J Korean Dysphagia Soc.  2020 Jan;10(1):138-142. 10.34160/jkds.2020.10.1.018.

Dysphagia as the First Symptom of Hyperthyroidism without Goiter: A Case Report

  • 1Department of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, Center for Prevention and Rehabilitation, Heart Vascular and Stroke Institute, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Department of Health Science and Technology, Department of Medical Device Management & Research, SAIHST, Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, Korea


Hyperthyroidism is a rare cause of dysphagia. We report a case of dysphagia as the first symptom of hyperthyroidism in a patient who improved with antithyroid agents and swallowing rehabilitation. An 81-year-old man was diagnosed with Graves’ disease after being hospitalized for recurrent aspiration symptoms that included cough and sputum for two months. The patient was given methimazole, propranolol, and Lugol solution as well as conventional swallowing rehabilitation for 60 minutes a day. Two weeks after initiation of treatment, the patient’s thyroid function tests saw improvement. He showed significant improvement in dysphagia after 3 weeks of treatment. Persisting improvement in swallowing was also found at 6 months post-treatment. Dysphagia may be the first symptom of hyperthyroidism in elderly patients, and physicians should consider performing thyroid function tests for evaluating such patients.


Deglutition; Deglutition disorders; Hyperthyroidism; Aging
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