Vol. 97  No. 1  January 2004

Frequency of Autoimmune Chronic Thyroiditis in Outpatients 
of an Otorhinolaryngological Department                                     

Setsuko Morinaka and Akinari Hidaka
(Kobe Japanpost Hospital)

       During the period between August and October 2002, there were 44 ambulatory patients with chronic autoimmune thyroiditis in our Otorhinolaryngological Department. The prevalence of chronic autoimmune thyroiditis was 6.8% of outpatients and the male/female ratio was 1:4.5. Chronic autoimmune thyroiditis was more frequent in patients aged 50-70 years. Among them, 20 patients were revealed to have normal thyroid function. Ten patients had hypothyroidism, 8 patients had subclinical hypothyroidism, one patient had thyrotoxicosis and 5 patients had subclinical thyrotoxicosis. Most patients had almost no symptoms related to thyroid function and thyroiditis was found by palpation of the thyroid gland. All 10 patients with hypothyroidism and 5 out of 8 patients with subclinical hypothyroidism were treated by thyroid hormone replacement therapy. Thyrotoxicosis and subclinical thyrotoxicosis were mild and transient, and no therapy was necessary for them.
      It is important to palpate the thyroid gland during examination of the neck, as chronic autoimmune thyroiditis is considered to be common. Therefore, it is important for general otorhinolaryngologists not to overlook thyroid diseases, and to palpate the thyroid glands routinely.

Key words : autoimmune chronic thyroiditis, hypothyroidism, subclinical hypothyroidism, thyrotoxicosis


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