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J R Soc Med. 1983 March; 76(3): 187–189.
PMCID: PMC1438714

Peripheral neuropathy in hypothyroidism--an association with spurious polycythaemia (Gaisbock's syndrome).


The neurological complications of hypothyroidism, including dementia, cerebellar ataxia, myopathy and entrapment neuropathy, are well recorded, but peripheral neuropathy has rarely been documented (Swanson et al. 1981). In this paper two patients are described who developed myxoedema and peripheral neuropathy. The first patient had a very rapid onset of myxoedema, and during observation he developed spurious polycythaemia (Gaisbock's syndrome) over a period of nine days.

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Selected References

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  • Dallera F, Gamoletti R. Erythrocytosis associated with thyroid tumor. Tumori. 1980 Apr 30;66(2):273–275. [PubMed]
  • Dyck PJ, Lambert EH. Polyneuropathy associated with hypothyroidism. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 1970 Oct;29(4):631–658. [PubMed]
  • NICKEL SN, FRAME B, BEBIN J, TOURTELLOTTE WW, PARKER JA, HUGHES BR. Myxedema neuropathy and myopathy. A clinical and pathologic study. Neurology. 1961 Feb;11:125–137. [PubMed]
  • Ramsay LE. Spurious polycythaemia developing during observation. Br Med J. 1978 May 13;1(6122):1251–1252. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Saha PK, Shenoy KT, Ravindran M. Electrophysiological study of peripheral nerves in secondary polycythemia. Indian J Med Res. 1980 May;71:801–805. [PubMed]
  • Shirabe T, Tawara S, Terao A, Araki S. Myxoedematous polyneuropathy: a light and electron microscopic study of the peripheral nerve and muscle. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 1975 Mar;38(3):241–247. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Stefanini M, Urbas JV, Urbas JE. Gaisböck's syndrome: its hematologic, biochemical and hormonal parameters. Angiology. 1978 Jul;29(7):520–533. [PubMed]
  • Swanson JW, Kelly JJ, Jr, McConahey WM. Neurologic aspects of thyroid dysfunction. Mayo Clin Proc. 1981 Aug;56(8):504–512. [PubMed]

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