November 1983

Silent Thyroiditis

Author Affiliations


Arch Intern Med. 1983;143(11):2214. doi:10.1001/archinte.1983.00350110208046

To the Editor.  —In the December 1982 Archives (142:2281-2283) Nikolai et al stated that "Lymphocytic thyroiditis (LT) with spontaneously resolving hyperthyroidism (SRH), first described in the 1970s, continues to be a commonly observed entity accounting for 10% to 20% of all cases of hyperthyroidism since 1975." In a detailed review of the subject, Woolf reported that painless thyroiditis was relatively common, occurring in 3.6% to 23% of all causes of hyperthyroidism. This was puzzling, since in the private practice of endocrinology in Philadelphia I had encountered only one case in the previous three years and eight other local endocrinologists whom I polled reported seeing, at most, one to three cases per year. More intrigued than ever, I conducted a random poll of endocrinologists throughout the country and found that, with certain striking exceptions (Table), the disorder was universally rare. T. Nikolai, MD (oral communication, Jan 20, 1982), later stated that

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