Formation of an abscess in the thyroid gland is an infrequent manifestation of tuberculosis. Rankin and Graham stated that "such progression of the disease (into cold abscess) is extremely rare." In a review of the literature we have been able to find only 26 cases. No reported case is similar to the one detailed in our paper in that a tuberculous abscess of the thyroid developed in this patient during the secondary stage of syphilis.
Coller and Huggins stated that two types of tuberculosis of the thyroid gland are seen: miliary and caseating. The miliary type is found with a generalized tuberculous infection. In the caseating type the gland may necrose and soften to form masses of tuberculous caseating material or may liquefy to form a cold abscess. Lindsay and Mead reviewed the literature in 1934 and found recorded about 255 cases of tuberculosis of the thyroid. Of these tuberculous
POSTLETHWAIT RW, BERG P. TUBERCULOUS ABSCESS OF THE THYROID GLANDREPORT OF A CASE AND REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE. Arch Surg. 1944;48(6):429-437. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1944.01230010442002