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Sonographic Characteristics and Interval Changes of Subacute Thyroiditis.

OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to assess the sonographic characteristics and interval changes of subacute thyroiditis using follow-up sonography.

METHODS: From January 2008 to December 2014, 85 patients with clinically suspected subacute thyroiditis underwent sonographic examinations by a single radiologist. Subacute thyroiditis was confirmed on the basis of the clinical, sonographic, and cytohistopathologic findings. On the initial and follow-up sonograms, the individual sonographic findings and interval changes were retrospectively investigated by the same radiologist. According to the sonographic configuration, subacute thyroiditis lesions were categorized as nodular or non-nodular. The interval changes in the lesions were classified as follows: "disappeared," "decreased," "increased," "eventually smaller," "eventually larger," or "no interval change."

RESULTS: Subacute thyroiditis was confirmed in 64 of the 85 patients. In these 64 patients, nodular (n = 39) and non-nodular (n = 35) lesions were found; 10 patients had both nodular and non-nodular lesions. Of the 64 patients, 41 underwent sonographic follow-up. In both nodular and non-nodular lesions, the common interval changes included disappeared, decreased, and eventually smaller patterns. Although the increased pattern was found only in 4 nodular lesions, there was no significant difference in the interval changes between nodular and non-nodular lesions. On follow-up sonography, a new lesion was detected in 6 patients.

CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence rate of nodular subacute thyroiditis lesions on sonography was high, and the interval changes in the lesions were variable.

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