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September 1956

Subacute Thyroiditis: Report of Three Cases Treated with Cortisone

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1956;98(3):322-327. doi:10.1001/archinte.1956.00250270066007

Although first described as a clinical entity in 1904,1 subacute thyroiditis has remained virtually unknown to most physicians. Only recently has there been an upsurge of interest in the inflammatory conditions of the thyroid gland. Whereas Cecil's "Textbook of Medicine," seventh edition (1947),2 barely mentions it among acute thyroid conditions, the ninth edition (1955) devotes an entire column to it.

The clinical and histological picture was clearly described in 1904 by de Quervain, who collected cases from the literature going back almost 100 years. He distinguished primary nonsuppurative thyroiditis from secondary thyroiditis occurring in a variety of infectious diseases, such as typhoid and malaria. In 1936 he added 8 cases and collected 62 more from the literature.3

There are several names for this disease, such as, de Quervain's thyroiditis, acute recurrent, pseudotuberculous, and giant-cell thyroiditis. It is nowadays usually designated as subacute thyroiditis.4 This term distinguishes

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