A) localized in neck
B) generalized over neck
Infectious thyroiditis usually occurs in immunocompromised patients. It can occur due to bacteremia or due to local extension. Abscess formation is common and requires urgent attention. Clinically it presents as sudden unilateral neck tenderness. Fever and chills are universal. Unilateral fluctuant neck mass should be considered as an abscess unless proved otherwise. Interestingly though signs of thyrotoxicosis may be present but thyroid function usually stays normal.
Workup requires an ultrasound and fine-needle aspiration biopsy. Treatment is drainage of abscess and broad spectrum antibiotic.
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