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April 1959

Acute Suppurative Thyroiditis in a Child

Author Affiliations

French Camp, Calif.
Department of Surgery, San Joaquin General Hospital.

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1959;97(4):493-494. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1959.02070010495015

Acute suppurative thyroiditis is seen so infrequently that it may justly be considered a rare disease.2,7 The literature, since 1940, has yielded only two case reports of the disease occuring in children.1,5

The disease usually has a sudden onset characterized by hoarseness, dysphagia, chills and fever, and an elevated pulse rate. Typically, there is pain, swelling, and discoloration of the skin overlying one lobe of the thyroid gland, or the neck may be so edematous that the extent of the disease cannot be accurately determined. Spasm of the neck muscles may cause the patient's head to flex toward the side of involvement. The white blood cell count and sedimentation rate are elevated, whereas thyroid function studies are normal.5

The management of acute suppurative thyroiditis necessitates a vigorous approach. Antibiotics are essential. Incision and drainage should be performed early, as there is a danger that a neglected abscess

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