Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Case Reports in Medicine
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 349756, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/349756
Case Report

Surgical Treatment for Unexplained Severe Pain of the Thyroid Gland: Report of Three Cases and Concise Review of the Literature

1Department of Surgery, Leiden University Medical Center, P.O. Box 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands
2Department of Endocrinology, Leiden University Medical Center, P.O. Box 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands
3Department of Pathology, Leiden University Medical Center, P.O. Box 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands

Received 14 October 2010; Accepted 13 January 2011

Academic Editor: Nam Jong Paik

Copyright © 2011 Jan van Schaik et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Painful thyroid has a limited differential diagnosis. In rare cases, no clear cause can be found after careful clinical, biochemical, and radiological analysis. This may lead to extensive patient morbidity and frustration when symptomatic treatment proves insufficient. Hemithyroidectomy or total thyroidectomy may then be the last resort for doctor and patient. Three cases of unexplained painful thyroid which were successfully treated with hemi or total thyroidectomy are presented. In two cases extensive histological evaluation did not yield a satisfactory explanation for the extreme thyroid pain. In one case histological evaluation of the thyroid revealed Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Review of the literature does not mention surgical treatment for unexplained painful thyroid, and only 15 cases of surgical treatment for painful Hashimoto's thyroiditis are presented. Surgical therapy is a successful final option in the treatment of unexplained painful thyroid and painful Hashimoto's thyroiditis.