Intractable pruritus as the presenting complaint in a patient with Graves disease

Denise Angelica Teves, Lewis Robert Chase

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


A 44-year-3old woman was referred for persistent pruritus unrelieved by antihistamines. Additionally, she noted heat intolerance, increased perspiration, tiredness, hyperdefecation, and weight loss for 8 months. Physical examination showed enlargement of the right thyroid lobe, hyperreflexia, and skin excoriations. She did not have exophthalmos, lidlag, or tremor. Laboratory studies showed normal blood count, liver and renal function. She was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism (thyroid-stimulating hormone <0.01 mIU/ mL, total T4: 20.9 μg/dL, T3: 410 ng/dL, I 123 sodium iodide uptake was 61% at 5 hours and 75%, at 24 hours) (see Fig. 1) and received 8.5 mCi of I 131. She had resolution of pruritus within 3 weeks after treatment. Pruritus can be the initial symptom of hyperthyroidism and disappears after successful treatment. Hyperthyroidism should be included in the differential diagnosis of chronic recalcitrant pruritus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254-256
Number of pages3
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Graves disease
  • Pruritus
  • Treatment


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