Subacute lymphocytic thyroiditis

Subacute lymphocytic thyroiditis or silent thyroiditis is a thyroid inflammatory condition.

Usually characterized by the recent onset of symptoms and there is usually an absence of thyroidal pain or tenderness. On examination there can be a normal to modestly enlarged and firm thyroid gland. There is often transient hyperthyroidism, followed sometimes by hypothyroidism, and then recovery.

Histologically, the gland is characterized 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

Typically shows markedly reduced radioiodine uptake and markedly decreased glandular activity 2

The course is usually benign and transient. Moderate doses of β-adrenergic blocking agents may provide symptomatic relief. 

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Article information

rID: 48833
System: Head & Neck
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Silent thyroiditis
  • Painless thyroiditis

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