Painful thyroid palpation.

Helena Pité, Marta Moitinho, Ana Silva, Isabel Ortigueira, Luís Dias, Victor Gomes


A 37-years-old woman, complaining of fever, malaise, myalgia, sore throat and dysphagia lasting for 15 days, had been taking antibiotics and paracetamol for 7 days, without symptoms' improvement. The clinical examination revealed hyperaemic oropharynx and enlarged, painful thyroid. Further exams showed increased analytic inflammatory serum parameters as well as thyrotoxicosis. The thyroid gland had heterogeneous echostructure, with markedly hypoechoic areas and significant capsular oedema as well as decreased radionuclide uptake in the scintigraphy. Both symptoms and imaging improved with paracetamol and ibuprofen. Thyroid gland function normalized in two months. The patient remains in follow-up. This case reports the clinical features of subacute or De Quervain's thyroiditis. The differential medical approach to the patient with painful thyroid palpation is discussed. The diagnosis is essentially clinic, highlighting the importance of a rigorous physical exam. These patients' follow-up is required, considering the clinical and analytic progression.

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