Reidel thyroiditis

We talked a bit about thyroiditis yesterday. Here’s another kind of thyroiditis: fibrosing (or Riedel) thyroiditis. This one is totally different than subacute granulomatous thyroiditis. In fibrosing thyroiditis, the thyroid becomes overrun by fibrous tissue (guess that’s why they picked that name). For some unkown reason, fibroblasts just start proliferating and laying down collagen. In the picture above, there is one pathetic-looking residual follicle, surrounded by lymphocytes, in a sea of fibrotic tissue. As the disease progresses, the thyroid becomes a rock-hard, woody mass. If it gets big enough, it can compress some of the important structures in the neck, like the trachea, and it may need to be removed.