Hashimoto's Thyroiditis is the most common type of thyroiditis. It is a painless inflammation with progressive enlargement of the thyroid gland due to autoimmunization against the patient’s own thyreoglobuline circulating in the blood. Antibodies are present in 95 percent of patients. Incidence in females 15 to 20 times higher than in males; onset a any age; highest incidence between 30 to 50 years of age. Most commonly occurs in menopausal women. Relatively benign condition. It may be associated with other autoimmune conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis or the Sjögren's syndrome.
In 1912 Hashimoto described four patients with a chronic disorder of the thyroid, which he termed struma lymphomatosa. The thyroid glands of these patients were characterized by diffuse lymphocytic infiltration, fibrosis, parenchymal atrophy, and an eosinophilic change in some of the acinar cells. Clinical and pathologic studies of this disease have appeared frequently since Hashimoto's original description.
- H. Hashimoto:
Zur Kenntnis der lymphomatösen Veränderung der Schilddrüse (Struma lymphomatosa).
Archiv für klinische Chirurgie, Berlin, 1912, 97: 219-248.