Successful outcome after surgical management in two cases of the "painful variant" of Hashimoto's thyroiditis

Loukas Gourgiotis, Nahrain Al-Zubaidi, Monica C. Skarulis, Dimitris A. Papanicolaou, Steven K. Libutti, H. Richard Alexander, Maria J. Merino, Nicholas J. Sarlis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objective: To describe two cases of the rare "painful variant" of Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT) that were refractory to medical management and in which surgical intervention provided the definitive treatment. Methods: We thoroughly review the clinical history as well as the laboratory, imaging, and surgical pathology data in these cases, and follow-up of the clinical response over time is provided. The relevant literature is also discussed. Results: A 56-year-old woman, who had remotely undergone a left hemithyroidectomy and had been diagnosed with HT, sought further assessment because of neck pain and edema. Treatment with corticosteroids was partially successful but led to the development of Cushing's syndrome. A 32-year-old man had pain and swelling of the thyroid and was diagnosed with HT shortly thereafter. Levothyroxine treatment was unsuccessful. Both patients underwent thyroidectomy. Chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis (HT) with a variable degree of fibrosis was found on assessment of pathology specimens. The patients remained asymptomatic after the surgical procedure and did not require any further anti-inflammatory therapy. Conclusion: In selected cases, surgical treatment may become necessary for effective and permanent control of symptoms and local signs in painful HT. Access to experienced endocrine surgeons is important in order to avoid postoperative complications because the thyroid gland may be small or fibrosed in this rare variant of HT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-265
Number of pages7
JournalEndocrine Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


Dive into the research topics of 'Successful outcome after surgical management in two cases of the "painful variant" of Hashimoto's thyroiditis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this