Endocrinol Metab.  2015 Dec;30(4):626-630. 10.3803/EnM.2015.30.4.626.

A Rare Manifestation of Hypothyroid Myopathy: Hoffmann's Syndrome

  • 1Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. sunhwanae@gmail.com
  • 2Department of Neurology, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Hypothyroid myopathy is observed frequently and the resolution of the clinical manifestations of myopathy following thyroid hormone replacement is well known. However, a specific subtype of hypothyroid myopathy, Hoffmann's syndrome, characterized by increased muscular mass (pseudohypertrophy), proximal muscle weakness, muscle stiffness and cramps, is rarely reported. Herein, we describe a 34-year-old male who presented with proximal muscle weakness and non-pitting edema of the lower extremities. He initially visited the neurology department where he was suspected of having polymyositis. Additional laboratory evaluation revealed profound autoimmune hypothyroidism and elevated muscle enzymes including creatine kinase. The patient was started on levothyroxine treatment and, subsequently, clinical symptoms and biochemical parameters resolved with the treatment. The present case highlights that hypothyroidism should be considered in the differential diagnosis of musculoskeletal symptoms even in the absence of overt manifestations of hypothyroidism. To our knowledge, this is the first case reported in Korea.


Hypothyroidism; Muscular diseases; Creatine kinase
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