8 tips for thyroid function testing

Opportunistic screening is not recommended

Guidelines on thyroid function testing were recently issued by the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia.

While the college does not recommend opportunistic screening, it supports active case identification for those with hypercholesterolaemia, mild anaemia, hyponatraemia, increased serum CK, muscle weakness with changes, osteoporosis and recent-onset arrhythmias.

High-risk subgroups include those with iodine deficiency, a personal or family history of thyroid disease, previous neck irradiation, type 1 diabetes and other autoimmune diseases, Down syndrome, Turner syndrome and advancing age.

Those on lithium or amiodarone treatment are also in the high-risk category.

Here are eight take-outs from the latest RCPA guidelines:

  1. Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) testing is generally the initial investigation for thyroid disease.
  2. In some cases, free