Custom Search



Endocrine Pathology Online

Pathology of De Quervain's Subacute Thyroiditis

Dr Sampurna Roy MD




It is exceptionally uncommon to see biopsy/resection material from De Quervain's thyroiditis since the condition is usually either subclinical or recognized clinically and self limiting.

Pain, swelling, a raised ESR and occasional hyperthyroidism characterize the condition.

Histologically, there is granulomatous thyroiditis with neutrophil polymorph infiltration.

The origin of the multinucleate giant cells is debated with controversy on whether they are histiocytic or derived from the follicular epithelium. 

Areas of thyroid affected by the disease show intrafollicular cellular infiltration, with partial or complete loss of colloid from infiltrated follicles, partial or complete disruption of their lining epithelium, and abnormalities of the basement membrane.

These changes tend eventually to lead to replacement of the damaged follicle by a granuloma-like structure devoid of colloid content and without a recognizable epithelial lining.

The disease also causes interfollicular fibrosis and an interstitial inflammatory cell reaction.    

The histological pattern is typically multiform. 

Formative follicle lesions present a striking appearance, aiding recognition of the disease.

Some follicles contain numerous giant cells, often grouped around a central pool of residual colloid.

Others may contain a considerable proportion of neutrophil polymorphs or show  radially aligned spindle-shaped cells.

The differential diagnosis includes palpation thyroiditis, which is characterized by focal giant cells only, and sarcoidal, tuberculous, fungal and syphilitic thyroiditis.


Further reading

Subacute thyroiditis in a single lobe.

Subacute granulomatous (de Quervain) thyroiditis: grayscale and color Doppler sonographic characteristics.

[De Quervain thyroiditis. Corner points of the diagnosis].

Subacute thyroiditis (de Quervain's) due to influenza A: presenting as fever of unknown origin (FUO).

Fever of unknown origin (FUO): de Quervain's subacute thyroiditis with highly elevated ferritin levels mimicking temporal arteritis (TA).

De Quervain's subacute thyroiditis presenting as a painless solitary thyroid nodule.

Fine needle aspiration cytodiagnosis of subacute (de Quervain's) thyroiditis in an endemic goitre area.

Painful subacute thyroiditis (de Quervain's thyroiditis)

De Quervain's subacute granulomatous thyroiditis: histological identification and incidence.

Occurrence of fibrosis in subacute de Quervain thyroiditis

The pathology of granulomatous diseases of the thyroid gland.

The pathology of granulomatous diseases of the thyroid gland.


Dr Sampurna Roy  MD

Consultant  Histopathologist (Kolkata - India)






Infectious Disease Online


Pathology Quiz Online 


Paediatric Pathology Online


Pancreatic Pathology Online




Endocrine Pathology Online


Eye Pathology Online


Ear Pathology Online


Cardiac Path Online


Pulmonary Pathology Online


Lung Tumour Online




Nutritional Pathology Online


Environmental Pathology Online


Soft Tissue Tumour Online


GI Path Online-India


Gallbladder Pathology Online


E-book - History of Medicine  


Microscope - Seeing the Unseen




Privacy Policy  

Advertising Policy

Copyright 2017