This article is about skin changes that occur in hypothyroidism. The word myxoedema was historically used to refer hypothyroidism in general. For the related medical emergency, see myxedema coma.
Myxedema (British English: Myxoedema) is a term used synonymously with severe hypothyroidism. It is also to describe a dermatological change that can occur in hypothyroidism, and some forms of hyperthyroidism. This article discusses the dermatological changes.
Fibroblast stimulation. It is thought that fibroblast stimulation by the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) receptor increases the deposition of glycosaminoglycan. This results in an osmotic edema and fluid retention. It is thought that many cells responsible for forming connective tissue react to increases in TSH levels.
Lymphocyte stimulation. In Basedow-Graves' thyroid disease, lymphocytes react against the TSH receptor. Lymphocytes react not only against thyroid receptors, but also any tissue with cells expressing the receptor. This can lead to tissue damage and scar tissue formation, explaining the deposition of glycosaminoglycans.
Myxoedema is a symptom of an underlying disease, and managed by treating the underlying cause.
^Berger, William D. James, Dirk M. Elston, Timothy G. Andrews' Diseases of the skin : clinical dermatology. (11th ed. ed.). [London]: Saunders/ Elsevier. ISBN978-1-4377-0314-6.
^Schneider, Arthur S.; Kim, Philip A. Szanto ; with special contributions by Sandra I.; Swanson, Todd A. (2009). Pathology (4th ed. ed.). Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. p. 314. ISBN1451109067.Cite uses deprecated parameters (help)