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July 1950


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, College of Medicine of the University of Cincinnati, and the Cincinnati General Hospital.

Arch Surg. 1950;61(1):76-85. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1950.01250020079009

ACUTE or subacute pyogenic thyroiditis is a rare disease which is characterized by a sudden onset, fever, chills, leukocytosis and variable symptoms and signs of inflammation in the thyroid gland and the lower cervical region. It is far less common than other clinical types of thyroiditis such as subacute pseudotuberculous thyroiditis, Hashimoto's thyroiditis and Riedel's struma, which occur in less than 1 per cent of all patients with thyroid disease.1 Young2 reported 26 cases of various types of inflammatory disease of the thyroid in 2,900 patients undergoing operation on this gland, and only 4 were cases of acute suppurative thyroiditis. Other isolated case reports of acute thyroiditis with abscess formation have been made by Henderson,3 Cochrane and Nowak,4 Stock,5 Derbyshire and Gray,6 and Crile.7

The infection is usually caused by the staphylococcus, streptococcus or pneumococcus, but there is some question of whether these