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J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2009 Apr;22(4):379-83.

Acute suppurative thyroiditis as the initial presentation of juvenile systemic lupus erythematosus.

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  • 1Pediatric Rheumatology Service, Hospital Universit├írio Professor Edgard Santos, Faculty of Medicine, Federal University ofBahia, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.


We report an unusual case of acute suppurative thyroiditis associated with juvenile systemic lupus erythematosus (JSLE) onset. A 10 year-old girl presented with a painful voluminous swelling in the anterior cervical region with fever and dysphagia. She also had dysphonia, myalgia, swelling of the small joints of the hands, weight loss, and erythematous malar rash. Thyroid ultrasonography disclosed an ill-defined solid cystic area containing abundant echoes in suspension suggestive of an abscess in both lobes compatible with suppurative bacterial thyroiditis. Fine-needle aspiration biopsy showed a secretion with positive culture for Staphylococcus aureus. Endoscopic evaluation did not demonstrate pyriform sinus fistula. The child had no previous thyroid disease. Hormonal evaluation showed thyrotrophin (TSH) 13 microIU/ml and free thyroxine (FT4) 0.4 ng/dl. After laboratory confirmation of JSLE, high dose 'pulse' therapy was performed with methylprednisolone (30 mg/kg/day for 3 days), followed by prednisone (2 mg/kg/day). The acute thyroiditis was treated with oxacillin, metronidazole and amikacin which ameliorated the symptoms of infection followed by normalization of thyroid function with levothyroxine. In spite of the known association between autoimmune diseases and thyroid disorders, the coexistence of suppurative thyroiditis and JSLE is rare, generally occurring during the course of lupus and not at diagnosis.

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