Subacute lymphocytic thyroiditis

Last revised by Rohit Sharma on 3 Apr 2024

Subacute lymphocytic thyroiditis or silent thyroiditis is a thyroid inflammatory condition, and a form of subacute thyroiditis.

Usually characterized by the subacute onset of mild hyperthyroid symptoms, with an absence of thyroidal pain or tenderness, followed sometimes by hypothyroidism prior to recovery. On examination there can be a normal to moderately enlarged and firm thyroid gland.

Histologically, the gland demonstrates lymphocytic infiltration, occasionally to the point of lymphoid follicle formation.

  • human leukocyte antigen (HLA) haplotypes, most often HLA-DR3

  • elevated levels of thyroid peroxidase (TPO) antibodies

  • elevated thyroglobulin antibodies

Thyroid scintigraphy typically shows markedly reduced radioiodine uptake and markedly decreased glandular activity 2

The course is usually self-limiting. Moderate doses of beta blocking agents may provide symptomatic relief. 

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