Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Very Prolonged Painful Viral thyroiditis: Why No Physicians Treated Her Neck Pains

41 Y/O female developed a sore throat, and neck discomfort. This was followed by enlarging mass in the thyroid area on the left. The mass was tender to touch, and pain began in addition to tenderness. She saw an ENT physician who gave her antiboitics, and an allergy steroid dose pack for 5 days. The pain was gone, but returned when the pack was finished. The ENT did not continue the steroids. She continued to have pain, which was only slightly relieved with Motrin. She returned crying, when the pain and mass migrated to the other side of the neck. The ENT told her it could be cancer, and did a FNA. She screamed with each of 3 needle sticks. She was told it was not cancer. She indured the pain for 4 months with only slight relief from non-steroidals, and 2 other physicians she visited for opinions did not offer a solution to her pain. Her pain finally went away on it's on, and she was euthyroid by 6 months.

She had a classic case of Viral Subacute Thyroiditis SAT. She became hyperthyroid first, TSH 0.01, and then hypothyroid TSH 6, and was normal TSH 2.1 by 6 months. Her goiter disappeared as well.

The only thing one can do for this type of patient is to relieve the pain! This was not done. The pain of SAT is quickly treated with Prednisone, and the dose may be needed for weeks to a few months. The band aid of a 5 day dose pack was inadequate to help her overcome the painful symptoms of SAT.

Also a biopsy is the last resort in this disease because it is very painful!

None of the physicians offered her prednisone or even an endocrine consultation to help treat her.


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