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Subacute thyroiditis with airway compromise in a 5-year-old boy
  1. Pardha Ramineni1,
  2. Sowmini Padmanabh Kamath1,
  3. Jayateertha Joshi2 and
  4. Sadashiva Rao2
  1. 1Paediatrics, Kasturba Medical College Mangalore, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, Karnataka, India
  2. 2Paediatric Surgery, Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, Karnataka, India
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sowmini Padmanabh Kamath; sowmini.kamath{at}


A 5-year-old boy presented with intermittent fever for 1 month, painful neck swelling associated with dysphagia, hoarseness of voice for 3 weeks and dyspnoea of 1-day duration. On evaluation, he had elevated serum thyroglobulin levels and inflammatory markers. There was a diffuse glandular thyroid enlargement with hypoechoic areas on neck ultrasonography. Fine-needle aspiration cytology was suggestive of subacute thyroiditis (SAT), and MRI of the neck confirmed narrowing of the trachea by the enlarged thyroid. He received steroids to relieve airway compression. Levothyroxine was started. On follow-up, he was symptom-free and euthyroid; steroids and levothyroxine were discontinued. SAT presenting with compression of trachea is rare in children. This highlights the need for identifying the type of thyroiditis to determine treatment modality.

  • paediatrics (drugs and medicines)
  • paediatric intensive care
  • thyroid disease

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  • Contributors PR and SPK were involved in the collection of case data, literature search, and drafting and revising the manuscript. JJ and SR were involved in drafting and revising the manuscript. All authors were involved in case management.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Parental/guardian consent obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.