In 1834, Robert Graves gave a lecture series on the ‘Newly observed affection of the thyroid gland in females’. He presented three women who had violent palpitations, enlarged thyroids, and an apparent enlargement of the eyeballs (later it would be called ‘exophthalmos’).
In 1912, Hakaru Hashimoto reported a new disease in a German journal after examining microscopically the thyroid tissue from four middle-aged women. He noted the lymphocytic infiltration and likened it to other conditions containing lymphocytes (ie. Sjögren syndrome) and named it ‘Strum lymphomatosa’.
It would not be until the 1950s that the underlying mechanism of these diseases would be known: autoimmunity. The former, now known as Graves’ disease, and the latter Hashimoto disease are the most common causes of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism respectively.
Our special guest is Dr Daman Langguth who is an immunology and Head of the Immunology Department at Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology.
This is the story of autoimmune thyroiditis.