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July 18, 1953


JAMA. 1953;152(12):1133-1134. doi:10.1001/jama.1953.63690120002012a

The clinical entity known variously as subacute nonsuppurative thyroiditis, deQuervain's disease,1 or pseudotuberculous thyroiditis is characterized by a tender, firm, inflammatory enlargement of the thyroid gland resulting in (1) fever, (2) pain at the site of involvement and referred to either or both ears, (3) pain or difficulty in swallowing, (4) cough due to tracheal irritation, (5) a mildly hypermetabolic state, (6) marked elevation of the erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and (7) leukocytosis with polymorphonucleosis. This syndrome is readily recognizable and is entirely distinct, both clinically and pathologically, from other nonsuppurative thyroid conditions such as Riedel's struma and Hashimoto's disease.2

The cause of this inflammatory disease of the thyroid gland is not known, but it may be of viral origin. The pathological picture is that of intense inflammation with marked polymorphonuclear infiltration of the colloid follicles, forming what appear to be tiny miliary abscesses or pseudotubercles. These have been