Acute suppurative thyroiditis (AST), a potential complication of pyriform sinus fistula (PSF), is a rare clinical condition as the thyroid gland is remarkably resistant to infections. Lack of awareness of the entity contributes to the rarity and frustrating recurrences. We performed a retrospective review of all cases of AST due to PSF treated at our institution over a 10-year period. The clinical data, investigations, operative findings and procedures, microbial culture reports and follow-up were recorded and analyzed. Between January 1997 and September 2006, 12 cases (8 males and 4 females) of AST due to PSF were treated. Nine patients (75%) underwent successful complete excision, seven of whom had initial incision and drainage procedures. In three patients (25%) with recurrence, one underwent complete excision at a later procedure, one patient had multiple recurrences with six incision and drainage procedures and two failed attempts of excision of PSF before final successful complete excision. The third patient is awaiting re-excision of the PSF tract. All patients, except the one awaiting re-excision, are well with no further recurrences during the follow-up period that ranged from 18 to 96 months (median, 46.5 months). AST due to PSF is a challenging entity in terms of diagnosis and management as recurrences are common despite meticulous dissection. High index of suspicion and radiological investigations such as barium studies and computed tomography scan aid in the delineation and excision of the fistulous tract.
Acute suppurative thyroiditis Thyroid abscess Pyriform sinus fistula Children