Women are more frequently affected than men with a ratio of 2.5 to 8.4: 1. Most patients are in the 50 to 80 year age range. There is usually rapid enlargement of an already existing goitre, and the mass may extend extra-thyroidally. The rapid growth and extent of invasion may result in dysphagia, hoarseness and dyspnoea (3, 16, 21). Thyroid function is usually normal but hypothyroidism has been documented in a minority of cases (11, 22). If hypothyroidism is present, it is usually due to the preexisting thyroiditis and not due to the obliteration of thyroid parenchyma by the lymphomatous infiltrate. Very rare cases of hyperthyroidism have been encountered where rapid destruction of thyroid follicles with release of colloid and thyroid hormone into the circulation, have been implicated as causative (23, 24).
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