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Original Investigation
December 1982

Treatment of Lymphocytic Thyroiditis With Spontaneously Resolving Hyperthyroidism (Silent Thyroiditis)

Author Affiliations

From the Sections of Endocrinology (Drs Nikolai, Coombs, McKenzie, and Miller) and Nuclear Medicine (Dr Weir), Marshfield (Wis) Clinic.

Arch Intern Med. 1982;142(13):2281-2283. doi:10.1001/archinte.142.13.2281

• The duration of the hyperthyroidism associated with lymphocytic thyroiditis (LT) with spontaneously resolving hyperthyroidism (SRH) was serially monitored in groups of patients who were not given any treatment (control subjects) or treated with propylthiouracil and/or propranolol hydrochloride and prednisone. The length of time for the thyroxine tests from diagnosis to the normal range was 57 ± 17, 45 ± 13, and 15 ± 7 days (mean ± SD) indicating a dramatic response to prednisone therapy but none to propylthiouracil and/or propranolol therapy. Five patients were found who had seven episodes of SRH while receiving thyroid hormone suppression therapy after having verified chronic LT (two patients) and LT-SRH (three patients). This indicates that thyroid suppression with thyroid hormone may be ineffective in preventing this disease. Two patients were treated by subtotal thyroidectomy because of recurrent or prolonged episodes of SRH. From this experience, the therapeutic alternatives available to the clinician are reviewed.

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