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May 1938


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pathology, Dr. R. H. Jaffé, Director, and the Medical Service of Dr. L. C. Gatewood, Cook County Hospital.

Arch Surg. 1938;36(5):867-873. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1938.01190230146011

Although intrathoracic goiter is relatively frequent, its complication by suppuration is exceedingly rare. In a careful review of the literature, the only case found was one reported by Kalbfleisch1 in 1920, in which the condition occurred in a young woman following a spontaneous abortion. Gas bacilli were present in the uterine secretions, although no local infection was observed. In the course of her illness, it was noted that a substernal goiter was present. In view of the septic course and local symptoms referable to the goiter, the diagnosis of either a complicating suppuration or a hemorrhage into the thyroid was considered. Operation was performed, and a suppurative intrathoracic goiter due to gas bacilli was found. Drainage was instituted, and recovery followed.

Acute thyroiditis has often been observed. Clute and Lahey2 described two types: (1) simple thyroiditis, which is more common, usually follows infection of the upper respiratory tract

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