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Thyroid UK
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A curious case of yellow nail syndrome

Odd little story. Full paper worth looking at if you have any interest.

Pneumologia. 2015 Jan-Mar;64(1):36-8.

A curious case of yellow nail syndrome.

Crişan-Dabija R, Mihăescu T.


The Yellow Nail Syndrome is a rare clinical entity, first described in 1967 by P.D. Samman and W.F. White. The triad slow-growing dystrophic yellow nails, lymphedema and chronic respiratory disorders is the typical manifestation of the disease but some variations have been described as well as associations with chylothorax, chylous ascites, intestinal lymphangiectasia, thyroid abnormalities, malignancies and immunoglobulin A (IgA) deficiency. We present a case of a 55-years-old woman that had an insidious onset of respiratory disorders and chronic sinusitis, suspected to be infectious throughout the hospitalizations, associated with therapeutically neglected autoimmune thyroiditis.

PMID: 26016054 [PubMed - in process]


Full paper in a nice PDF automatically downloads if you use this link:


9 Replies

" therapeutically neglected autoimmune thyroiditis "

sadly very common in the elderly...


Nooooooooooo! 55 isn't elderly!


Crickey - no! otherwise I'll be elderly later this year!

I just meant that my mum & dad had this, we thought it was some sort of fungus infection like athletes foot, never went with cream 'tho...


Lol hope not


'The Yellow Nail Syndrome is a rare clinical entity'

How would they know it's rare when doctors never look at nails and Don't automatically test antibodies? I doubt they have enough date to conclude that it's rare.


Couldn't agree more, GG. What they really mean is it's rare that they ever diagnose it, not that it happens!


Very interesting. I have the yellow toe nails and my two thumb nails are going that way, but I always assumed it was aging, but I'm roughly the same age as her, so maybe not! I also have the cough and the IgA deficiency, oh yeah, and trouble with my sinuses, but definitely not all the bronchial problems - other than the ancient cough of course. Of course, I also have the untreated hypothyroidism.

Maybe I should be worried....


I read that there are only about 150 sufferers worldwide. I have met someone with the condition.

I suspect that there are probably more sufferers than this but it's unfamiliar to a lot of medics and perhaps underdiagnosed.


Almost certainly! I am quite convinced that simply having the tag "rare" (or "very rare") makes a doctor far less likely to diagnose a disorder/disease. Of course, someone is more likely to have a "common" disorder than a particular rare one. But there are so very many rare disorders that having one of them is quite common.

The likelihood of diagnosis is also much higher in disorders which have very obvious signs and symptoms.

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