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Acute Suppurative Thyroiditis

Also known simply as acute bacterial thyroiditis, acute supperative thyroiditis is a very rare condition—so rare that even thyroid specialists may never see a single case in their career. When it does occur, it’s usually seen in children.

The term suppurative refers to the presence of bacteria and pus; in this condition, the thyroid gland suffers a dramatic pus-forming bacterial infection similar to the ones that cause boils and abscesses.

The thyroid gland becomes painful and infl amed, and a high fever and chills accompany the infection. Sometimes an abscess within the gland contains pus. The tenderness of the thyroid gland is usually obvious, so it’s diffi cult to miss the symptoms. A fine needle biopsy can provide abscess material to examine for bacteria. Antibiotics, incision, and drainage are the treatments.

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