Thyroid tuberculosis

Indian J Tuberc. 2021 Apr;68(2):272-278. doi: 10.1016/j.ijtb.2020.09.006. Epub 2020 Sep 12.


Thyroid tuberculosis is a rare disease. Its incidence is low even in countries where prevalence of pulmonary tuberculosis is high (0.1-0.4%). In literature, there are only a few cases which were diagnosed as thyroid tuberculosis. It can be explained by a high resistance of the thyroid gland to infectious processes. However, the prevalence of tuberculosis has increased worldwide and thyroid involvement can be a primary manifestation of the disease. The incidence of extrapulmonary tuberculosis has been showing a progressive increase in the recent years(Barnes and Weatherstone, 1979). The most frequent clinical presentation is a solitary thyroid nodule that may present as a cystic nodule. It may also present as thyroid abscess with pain, fever and other non-specific signs and symptoms. ATT results in complete cure therefore it is important to differentiate it from other form of thyroiditis. Patients are usually euthyroid, but cases of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are described. For accurate diagnosis of thyroid tuberculosis, clinical and radiological features are nonspecific and histological examination is required for confirmation of diagnosis. PCR may help in diagnosis. The authors encounter 3 cases of thyroid tuberculosis in last 5 year which are described in this article. The aim of this study is to review all the cases published in literature to describe clinical presentation, appropriate diagnostic method and possible treatment options of the disease.

Keywords: Antituberculous therapy; Epitheloid granuloma; Thyroid tuberculosis; Thyroidectomy.

Publication types

  • Review