The syndrome of hypokalaemic paralysis represents a heterogeneous group of disorders characterized clinically by hypokalaemia and acute systemic weakness. Most cases are due to familial or primary hypokalaemic periodic paralysis; sporadic cases are associated with numerous other conditions including barium poisoning, hyperthyroidism, renal disorders, certain endocrinopathies and gastrointestinal potassium losses.
The typical patient with thyrotoxic periodic paralysis (TPP) has recurrent attacks of flaccid weakness, predominantly involving the lower limbs. it is usually associated with low plasma potassium levels. Precipitants include carbonhydrate loads, infection, emotional stress, gluco-and mineralocorticoid administration.
Four typical cases are presented here. Ali patients were male who complained of several episodes of muscular paralysis in the context of previously undiagnosed hyperthyroidism and associated with low plasma potassium levels. TPP should be considered in the differential diagnosis of all acute episodes of muscular weakness in young patients.
Keywords: Thyrotoxicosis periodic paralysis