The manifestations of myxedema are insidious in onset and the development is slow. For this reason the diagnosis is frequently missed until an advanced stage is reached. If the patient is not treated he will die after 10 or 15 years. If death is not due to an intercurrent disease, it usually comes with hypothermic coma. In a series of 5 patients, Nickerson et al.1 found that the temperature was below 95° F. (35° C.) in all and reached 74° F. (23.3° C.) in one. Only one of their patients survived. The authors compared the findings in the survivor with those of the patients who died. None of the patients whose temperature fell below 90° F. (32.2° C.) survived. The serum electrolytes in the survivor were only moderately out of balance. The survivor was stuporous but not comatose.
Catz and Russell2 reported a series of 12 patients with