The incidence of lymphocytic thyroid infiltration and Hashimoto's thyroiditis increased in patients operated for benign goiter over a 31-year period
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The incidence of Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT) seems to have increased over the last several decades. Since there is a lack of recent studies in the literature that evaluate this phenomenon on a histological basis, we aimed to assess the incidence of lymphocytic thyroid infiltration (LTI) in our large surgical patient collective over a 31-year period. In our study, a total of 1,050 patients who had undergone uni- or bilateral thyroid surgery for benign goiter were included (150 patients in each group, during 1979 to 2009). The stored histological sections of the removed thyroid specimens were re-analyzed, including routine grading of LTI severity on a scale of 0–4, according to Williams and Doniach. Positive correlations were seen for the incidences of LTI grading (0–4) (r = 0.077, p = 0.013) and HT (r = 0.044, p = 0.078) over the years. Furthermore, when comparing the years 1979–1989 and 1994–2009, i.e., before and after the second iodine prophylaxis had been introduced in Austria, a higher incidence of HT was found for the later years (2 out of 450, 0.4%, vs. 6 out of 600, 1.0%, respectively; p < 0.0001). In conclusion, the data demonstrate that the incidence of LTI and HT has increased substantially over the last 31 years.
KeywordsAutoimmune thyroiditis Hashimoto's thyroiditis Histology Lymphocytic infiltration Epidemiology
Conflict of interest statement
We declare that we have no conflict of interest.
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