Myxoedema and open heart surgery: Anaesthesia and intensive care unit experience

D. C. Flnlayson, Joel A. Kaplan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Myxoedema has been considered a major anaesthetic risk which could be increased by concurrent heart disease. Thyroid ablation with the production of myxoedema has, in the past, been used to control intractable angina. Eight ablated patients (Group I) and five patients with heart disease and incidental hypothyroidism (Group II) presented for open heart surgery. Management included diazepam-narcotic anaesthesia in generally reduced doses, careful monitoring and the use of digoxin, steroids and I-thyroxin given during or after operation. All patients survived. A number of the anaesthetic considerations and potential problems with myxoedema are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)543-549
Number of pages7
JournalCanadian Journal of Anaesthesia
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1982
Externally publishedYes


  • Complications
  • Surgery
  • myxoedema
  • open heart


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