Anaerobic thyroid abscess from a thyroid cyst after fine-needle aspiration

Jui Hung Sun, Hung Yu Chang, Kwang Wen Chen, Koan Day Lin*, Jen Der Lin, Chuen Hsueh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background. Anaerobic abscess formation within a thyroid cyst is rare but still possible, although aerobic thyroid abscess formation in the thyroid gland after fine-needle aspiration (FNA) has been observed in immunocompromised patients. Methods. This study describes the clinical manifestations, thyroid echography, cytologic finding, culture outcome, and treatment course of an anaerobic abscess formation within a thyroid cyst after FNA in a healthy subject. Results. A 53-year-old male subject had rapid enlargement of a left thyroid cyst develop after second FNA. Frank pus was obtained through third FNA. The culture outcome was Propionibacterium acnes, which was rich in saliva and one of the pathogens causing periodontitis and gingivitis. After adequate antimicrobial therapy, the abscess gradually diminished. Conclusions. This article reported, for the first time, on the formation of an anaerobic thyroid abscess after FNA in a healthy subject. We recommended careful aseptic procedure and adequate isolation processes, such as wearing a mask to avoid an unfavorable outcome as a result of a bacterial infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-86
Number of pages3
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Anaerobic
  • Fine-needle aspiration
  • Propionibacterium
  • Thyroid abscess


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