Reading: Thyroiditis: can we depend on the clinical features to diagnose?


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Thyroiditis: can we depend on the clinical features to diagnose?


MB Samarawickrama ,

Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Ruhuna, LK
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BL Perera

Base Hospital, Gampaha, LK
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Introduction: Thyroiditis is an inflammatory condition affecting the thyroid gland. It is a common cause for goitrous hypothyroidism. Various prevalence rates have been sited in the literature. However, the data on thyroiditis in Sri Lanka is sparse and the precise incidence in Sri Lanka is not known. The wide spread use of iodized salt is thought to be the cause for increasing incidence of thyroiditis.

Materials and Method: The data was collected from 43 patients with thyroiditis out of 350 patients with thyroid diseases who attended the surgical out patient clinic of surgical unit III ofTeaching Hospital Karapitiya from July 2004 to January 2007. All these patients were studied in term of their clinical presentation, demography, clinical type of the goitre, thyroid function status, cytology of the thyroid and the mode of treatment and the data was analyzed.

Results: The total number of patients with thyroid diseases was 350. Forty three out of the 350 patients were found to have thyroiditis. This accounts for 12% of the study group. The female to male ratio was 42:1. The mean age of patients with thyroiditis was 33 years. Their presenting complains were goitre 40 (93%), voice changes 5 (12%), pressure symptoms 4(9%), toxic features 4 (9%), neck pain 3 (7%) and enlarge cervical nodes 2(5%) (Some patients had more than one complaint). Fifty two percent of patients had multinodular goitres. There was equal number of hypo and euthyroid patients. Only one patient was hyperthyroid. Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology (FNAC) was positive in 81% of the patients. The rest of the patients had colloid goitres and their thyroid peroxidase antibodies were elevated.

Discussion: The incidence of thyroiditis was high in this group when compared with the other studies. The commonest sub type was Hashimoto's thyroiditis which is reported to be the commonest sub type in the literature. The clinical features of these patients were not typical of thyroiditis. Therefore the clinical features did not help the diagnosis of thyroiditis in these patients. The diagnosis was mainly done by FNAC. Because of this we would like to recommend directing the investigation to find the possibility of thyroiditis in suspicious patients with thyroid diseases and further studies are required for making diagnosis and management protocols.  

DOI: 10.4038/gmj.v14i1.1171

Galle Medical Journal Vol.14(1) 2009 35-38

Keywords: thyroid diseases
How to Cite: Samarawickrama, M. and Perera, B., 2009. Thyroiditis: can we depend on the clinical features to diagnose?. Galle Medical Journal, 14(1), pp.35–38. DOI:
Published on 08 Oct 2009.
Peer Reviewed


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