Acquired Gitelman syndrome is a very rare disorder reported in association with autoimmune disorders, mostly Sjögren syndrome. It is characterized by the presence of hypokalaemic metabolic alkalosis, hypocalciuria, hypomagnesaemia and hyper-reninaemia, in the absence of typical genetic mutations associated with inherited Gitelman syndrome.
A 20 year old woman who was previously diagnosed with primary Sjögren syndrome and autoimmune thyroiditis presented with two week history of lower limb weakness and salt craving. Examination revealed upper limb and lower limb muscle weakness with muscle power of 3/5 on MRC scale and diminished deep tendon reflexes. On evaluation, she had hypokalaemia with high trans-tubular potassium gradient, metabolic alkalosis and hypocalciuria, features suggestive of Gitelman syndrome. New onset hypokalaemic alkalosis in a previously normokalaemic patient with Sjögren syndrome strongly favored a diagnosis of acquired Gitelman syndrome. Daily potassium supplementation and spironolactone resulted in complete clinical recovery.
Acquired Gitelman syndrome associated with Sjögren syndrome is rare. It should be considered as a differential diagnosis during evaluation of acute paralysis and hypokalaemic metabolic alkalosis in patients with autoimmune disorders, especially Sjögren syndrome.