Attempted Suicide in a Woman with Steroid-responsive Encephalopathy Associated with Autoimmune Thyroiditis: A Case Report

Jack P. Fatica, Nuzhat Hussain, Asfand Khan, Sanjay Yadav

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Steroid-responsive encephalopathy associated with autoimmune thyroiditis (SREAT) is a rare phenomenon that manifests with nonspecific psychiatric and neurological signs and symptoms, an elevated serum thyroid peroxidase antibody level, and a positive treatment response to corticosteroids. Current literature describes highly varied presentations of the disease, which makes its diagnosis a challenging endeavor. The psychiatric symptoms of SREAT, in particular, are very difficult to ascribe to the correct diagnosis, as there are few laboratory or imaging modalities available to workup these manifestations. As a result, authors have attempted to compose rough guidelines that would help clinicians more easily recognize SREAT, which is important given the wide accessibility and efficacy of the main treatment for this condition. We present the case of a young woman diagnosed with SREAT who presented after a suicide attempt. Although signs and symptoms of depression, psychosis, and mania have been well described as potential manifestations of the disorder, attempted suicide as a primary presentation of SREAT has not been well captured in the current literature. In fact, it appears that suicidal thoughts and attempts are not nearly as prevalent as would be expected given the high prevalence of psychiatric signs and symptoms in the disorder, but rather, they appear to be quite rare phenomena. In this case report, we identify other articles in the literature that address suicidal thoughts or attempts in association with SREAT. The patient described in our report is one of the only cases of a suicide attempt in the context of a primarily depressed state as a result of SREAT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)411-416
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Practice
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 16 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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