There is a spectrum of muscular abnormalities that occurs in patients with hypothyroidism. Alterations in deep tendon reflexes are commonly observed although more extensive muscle disease is less frequently seen. Two patients who demonstrated increased muscle mass, muscle stiffness with variable degrees of muscle weakness and low levels of serum thyroxine (Hoffmann's syndrome) are described. At the time of presentation, the serum creatinine phosphokinase level was more than 10 times greater than normal, and electromyography revealed repetitive positive waves. After therapy with thyroid hormone, there was complete resolution of the muscle abnormalities, and laboratory studies were performed. In this report, we review the clinical syndrome of muscle dysfunction that can be seen with the more severe forms of hypothyroid myopathy.
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