Tuberculosis can affect several sites of the head and neck. The most common form of tuberculosis (TB) of the head and neck area is the TB of the lymph nodes (85%); at other regions tuberculosis is extremely rare, it can affect the larynx (7%), the ear (3%), the pharynx (1.5%), the sinus cavities (1%), the eye (1%), the skull base (1%) and more rarely the thyroid (0.5%). Swelling of the thyroid gland by tuberculosis is one of the rarest disease, its relative resistance to TB infection has not been adequately explained; around 200 cases of thyroid tuberculosis are reported. Tuberculosis in the thyroid is found in 0.1% of postmortem studies and it has been reported in the 0.1 - 0.4% of cases of thyroid disease treated surgically, however, thyroid tuberculosis microscopic foci may occur in up to 7% of patients with miliary tuberculosis. First description of secondary thyroid tuberculosis was reported by Lebert in 1862 in a patient with miliary tuberculosis, however, in 1893 Bruns first described primary thyroid tuberculosis accompanied by regional lymphadenitis in a patient without pulmonary tuberculosis.
Last date updated on July, 2014