Physical fatigability and muscle pain in patients with Hashimoto thyroiditis.

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Hashimoto thyroiditis (HT) may lead to muscle weakness due to hypothyroid dysfunction. However, clinical experience treating patients with HT suggests that neuromuscular symptoms may develop in these patients despite long-standing euthyroidism.In 24 euthyroid patients with HT and 25 healthy controls, physical fatigability was assessed using the arm movement test (AMT) and 6-min walk test (6MWT). Fatigability was based on calculation of linear trend (LT) reflecting dynamic performance within subsequent constant time intervals. Perception of physical fatigue and muscle pain was analyzed using fatigue (FSMC) and pain questionnaires. Obtained results were correlated with clinical, neurophysiological and lab findings.HT patients showed a negative LT in 6MWT significantly differing from stable performance in controls. LT in AMT did not differ between HT and controls. FSMC scores and pain perception revealed significantly higher levels in HT patients than in controls. Physical FSMC score was primarily influenced by pain perception (standardized regression coefficient, beta = 0.633, p = 0.002). Neither pain score nor physical fatigue score showed a correlation with LT in 6MWT nor did mood, or anti-TPO antibody titer.A significant physical fatigability could be shown in euthyroid HT patients despite missing obvious neuromuscular deficits in routine testing. Further, elevated pain and fatigue perception in HT patients seem to contribute to nonspecific muscle complaints in these patients. A possible pathogenic role of thyroid autoimmunity in hidden neuromuscular involvement may be suggested.


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