Painful neuropathy in subclinical hypothyroidism: Clinical and neuropathological recovery after hormone replacement therapy

Paola Penza, Raffaella Lombardi, Francesca Camozzi, Claudia Ciano, Giuseppe Lauria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We describe a 60-year-old woman complaining of severe burning feet for 3 months. A neurological examination showed absent Achilles tendon reflexes; nerve conduction study demonstrated mild sensory neuropathy, and skin biopsy revealed a length-dependent loss of intraepidermal nerve fibres. Haematological exams demonstrated a subclinical hypothyroidism and hormone replacement therapy was started. Conversely, symptomatic treatments for neuropathic pain were withdrawn after few days because of side effects. During the following months, thyroid function recovered, and the patient experienced a progressive decrease of neuropathic pain intensity. At 6- and 12-month follow-ups, nerve conduction study and clinical examination were normal, whereas skin biopsy demonstrated a complete reinnervation of the epidermis. Subclinical hypothyroidism is a possible cause of sensory neuropathy and hormone replacement therapy can prompt nerve regeneration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-151
Number of pages3
JournalNeurological Sciences
Volume30
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Keywords

  • Nerve conduction study
  • Nerve regeneration
  • Painful neuropathy
  • Skin biopsy
  • Thyroid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Dermatology

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