Research: Pneumonia-Induced Thyroid Crisis With Thyrotoxicosis Exacerbation: De Novo Graves’ Disease Presentation on a Cornelia de Lange Syndrome (CdLS)


. 2023 Jun 28;15(6):e41119.

 doi: 10.7759/cureus.41119. eCollection 2023 Jun.

Pneumonia-Induced Thyroid Crisis With Thyrotoxicosis Exacerbation: De Novo Graves’ Disease Presentation on a Cornelia de Lange Syndrome (CdLS)

Jorge Pimentel Campillo 1Daneybi Corona Castillo 2Marco Nunez 3Ana Finke Abbott 4Jesús Pichardo 5

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Free PMC article


Cornelia de Lange syndrome (CdLS) is a rare genetic disorder that affects multiple organ systems and is characterized by distinctive facial features, growth retardation, and developmental disabilities. The syndrome is caused by mutations in genes (NIPBLRAD21SMC3HDAC8, and SMC1A) involved in the cohesin complex, which plays a critical role in chromosome segregation and gene expression regulation. Clinical findings typically include dysmorphic facial features (arched eyebrows, synophrys, long eyelashes, ptosis, long philtrum, thin upper lip, and posteriorly rotated ears), growth and mental retardation, upper limb defects (clinodactyly and limb deficiencies), gastrointestinal complications (gastroesophageal reflux, pyloric stenosis, diaphragmatic hernia, malrotation, and volvulus), and heart defects (ventricular and atrial septal defects). In addition, chronic respiratory tract infections including sinusitis and pneumonia have been frequently described in this population. The early recognition and diagnosis of CdLS through genetic testing are crucial to ensure appropriate medical management and early intervention therapies to improve the outcomes of affected individuals. The thyroid gland is not affected by this congenital disease, but complications can arrive in this organ by other disease-related organ malfunctions. Pneumonia-induced thyroiditis is a potentially life-threatening condition that can occur in patients with underlying thyroid disease who also develop pneumonia. The symptoms are due to the hypermetabolic state induced by excess thyroid hormones and include weight loss, heat intolerance, and palpitations. There are many different causes of thyrotoxicosis. It is important to determine the cause since treatment is based on the underlying etiology. The diagnosis of pneumonia-induced thyrotoxicosis can be challenging as symptoms may mimic other conditions and laboratory testing may not always provide a clear answer. The diagnosis is confirmed with low thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and elevated free thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), and C-reactive protein. The management of the condition involves prompt recognition, supportive care, and the use of medications to lower thyroid hormone levels, such as beta-blockers, antithyroid drugs, steroids, and iodine. In severe cases, plasmapheresis or thyroidectomy may be necessary.

Keywords: congenital disease; cornelia de lange; endocrinology; genetics; infectious diseases; internal medicine; metabolism; pancytopenia; pneumonia; thyrotoxicosis.

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