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Clin Pediatr (Phila). 1989 Apr;28(4):171-4.

Thyroiditis. Differentiation of acute suppurative and subacute. Case report and review of the literature.

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  • 1University of Wisconsin School of Medicine, Madison 53792.


Acute suppurative thyroiditis is rarely seen during childhood. The classic clinical features of this illness (fever, neck pain, and a swollen, tender mass over the thyroid gland) can differentiate acute thyroiditis from the more common subacute thyroiditis. In less typical cases, however, this distinction can be difficult. An adolescent male presented with a swollen, tender thyroid gland. Atypical laboratory findings and the lack of fever and toxicity delayed the diagnosis and treatment of acute suppurative thyroiditis. A review of the pediatric literature summarizes clinical and diagnostic features valuable in the differential between acute suppurative thyroiditis and subacute thyroiditis in childhood. The important contribution of fistulae between the piriform sinus and thyroid gland to the pathogenesis and acute suppurative thyroiditis is emphasized. Such a fistula should be sought in every patient in whom this entity is diagnosed.

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