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November 1980

Subacute Thyroiditis in a 4½-Year-Old Girl

Author Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics University of California at San Diego La Jolla, CA 92037

Am J Dis Child. 1980;134(11):1090-1091. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1980.02130230068019

Subacute thyroiditis is distinguished from "acute thyroiditis" by virtue of cause rather than mode of onset. Acute thyroiditis is bacterial in origin, usually with abscess formation. Subacute thyroiditis is generally thought to be viral. In 1973, Kirkland et al1 reported a total of 36 cases of acute thyroiditis in children.2 However, subacute thyroiditis is mentioned in only two pediatric case reports.2,3 Studies in the adult literature mention five other cases of subacute thyroiditis.4-8 We report an additional case in a 4½-year-old girl.

Report of a Case.—A 4½-year-old girl experienced fever and otitis media of the left ear six days prior to admission. Ampicillin sodium (250 mg) four times a day and a decongestant were given. The fever persisted, and she complained of dysphagia. Penicillin G benzathine (Bicillin), 600,000 units, was given. Two days later, anterior neck pain and thyroid swelling occurred.

Physical examination revealed a