Thyrotoxicosis is the hypermetabolic clinical syndrome resulting from serum elevations in thyroid hormone levels and it is well known to be associated with cardiac morbidities. There is a dearth of reports from sub-saharan Africa on this all important complication of thyrotoxicosis hence this study sets out to bridge this gap.
This was a prospective study carried out in the Endocrine Unit of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital Ikeja for a period of twenty months. All subjects with clinical and or biochemical evidence of thyrotoxicosis, were followed up and examined for clinical and laboratory features of cardiac complications of thyrotoxicosis. Those with a history of hypertension, sickle cell anaemia or known cardiac morbidity were excluded.
A total of 103 subjects with thyrotoxicosis were seen and the incidence of thyrocardiac disease was 27%. The M: F ratio of the subjects with thyrocardiac disease was 1:5. The cardiac complications noted included hypertension, arrhythmias and heart failure. Mean age and age range in yearswas 40 and 1269.The frequency of hypertension, arrhythmias and heart failure were 53%, 25% and 42% respectively. All the subjects with cardiac complications of thyrotoxicosis had florid clinical features of thyrotoxicosis.The demographic and anthropometric data in subjects with thyrocardiac disease and those without cardiac complications were comparable. The echcocardiographic features documented in some of the subjects with heart failure include dilated heart wall, impaired systolic function, reduced ejection fraction and fractional shortening.
Conclusion: Thyrotoxicosis is a notable cause of cardiac morbidity in Nigerians with thyrotoxicosis.