Volume 43, Issue 6 (November 1998)
Fatal Heatstroke in a Young Woman with Previously Undiagnosed Hashimoto's Thyroiditis
Heatstroke represents the most severe form of the heat-related illnesses. Potentially fatal, heatstroke most often affects the elderly, obese, or chronically ill. Thyroid disease, which may interfere with the normal regulation of body temperature, has not previously been reported in cases of heatstroke. A fatal case is reported in a young woman discovered unconscious in a sauna who was found to have preexisting Hashimoto's thyroiditis on subsequent autopsy. The diagnosis of hypothyroidism in heatstroke rests on clinical information and morphologic observations. This case underscores the importance of evaluating the thyroid in unusual cases of heatstroke.