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August 1963

Unilateral Thyroid Nodules With Lymphocytic Thyroiditis: Surgical Problems and Management

Author Affiliations

From the Divisions of General Surgery, Pathology, and Endocrinology of the Henry Ford Hospital.

Arch Surg. 1963;87(2):280-288. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1963.01310140088016

In recent years the majority of operations on the thyroid gland have been carried out for the clinical finding of nodules because of the possible presence of carcinoma. Occasionally the surgeon encounters clinically unsuspected chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis in such patients at the time of surgery. We wish to call attention first to the fact that chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis may manifest itself clinically by localized enlargement which may be interpreted as a nodule or nodules, or, in some patients, it may represent another lesion associated with the thyroiditis, and secondly, that unless these patients are treated indefinitely with adequate doses of thyroid medication, many later return complaining of symptomatic enlargement of their remaining thyroid tissue.

Terminology  A clarification of certain terminology to be used in this paper appears appropriate. The term "chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis" is used as a general term to refer to the pathologic entity in which there is an