Riedel’s Struma in Contrast to Struma Lymphomatosa


In 18963 and 18975 Riedel reported three cases of a peculiarly hard, indurated, infiltrating lesion of the thyroid which clinically and at operation was thought to be a malignant neoplasm, but was interpreted pathologically to be a chronic inflammatory process. The non-neoplastic nature of the lesion and its benignancy seem to have been confirmed by the clinical course of the disease following incomplete surgical removal of the lesion. The definitive cause of the process was not determined. The consistency of the tumefaction was compared to that of iron, and this physical feature gave rise to one of the terms, “eisenharte strumitis,” which was applied to these cases by Riedel and by subsequent writers.

During the discussion that followed the presentation of Riedel’s first two cases, Cordua4 mentioned his experience with a similar case, that of a female 13 years of age. Additional data concerning this case were furnished to Tailhefer6 in a personal communication from Cordua. The details, however, were never published, according to Riedel5 (1910); hence the case is of little statistical value except for the facts as to age and sex.

In the fifteen years succeeding Riedel’s original publication, cases of similar nature were reported under various titles by Tailhefer6 (1898): (“inflammation chronique primitive, canceriforme”); Ricard11 (“degenerescence fibreuse du corps thyroide”), (1901); Berry15 (“primary chronic inflammation”), (1901); Silatschek19 (“eisenharter strumitis”), (1910); Spannaus20 (“Riedelsche struma”), (1910); Delore and Alamartine21 (“thyroidite lig-neuse”), (1911); Sebileau22 (“ligneous thyroiditis”), (1911), and Murray and Southam24 (“ligneous thyroiditis”), (1912). It is well to pause. . .