Peng, Carol Chiung-Hui; Munir, Kashif M; Song, Linda; Papadimitriou, John C; Pennant, Majorie A (Elsevier, 2020-09-26)
      Objective: Painful Hashimoto thyroiditis (HT) is a rare HT variant characterized by neck pain. The clinical differentiation between painful HT and subacute thyroiditis is challenging, as the diagnosis cannot be confirmed without histopathological evidence. Here we present a patient who had anterior neck pain who was diagnosed with HT. Methods: We present the patient's clinical examinations and laboratory findings (white blood cell count, thyroid-stimulating hormone, free thyroxine, thyroid peroxidase antibody, and erythrocyte sedimentation rate). Ultrasound images of the thyroid gland and pathology images representative of marked HT with positive IgG4 immunohistochemical stain after thyroidectomy are also presented. Results: A 42-year-old female with a 3-year history of HT developed recurrent anterior neck pain with bilateral radiation to the ears as well as a tender, enlarging thyroid goiter. She had no signs of fever or a preceding infection of the upper respiratory tract. Her pain was only temporarily alleviated by oral corticosteroids. According to the serial ultrasound records, both thyroid lobes decreased in size after 2 pain episodes. She eventually underwent total thyroidectomy and remained pain-free for 1.5 years, up to the last office follow-up visit. Histopathology confirmed the diagnosis of HT. Conclusion: In patients with HT, recurrent thyroid pain despite steroid treatment is the clinical hallmark of diagnosis of painful HT. The reference standard of diagnosis is pathology. Thyroidectomy may be considered after recurrent painful episodes.