Thyroid nodule knowledge

There are plenty of factors to consider when evaluating and managing thyroid nodules.

There are plenty of factors to consider when evaluating and managing thyroid nodules.

Incidental thyroid nodules represent a common diagnostic challenge. Nodules may be palpated in an asymptomatic patient, or found incidentally on imaging (ultrasound, CT or MRI) performed for an unrelated problem.

Palpable nodules may occur in 5.3% of women and 0.8% of men, and in 20-76% of adults on ultrasound examinations.1-4 Incidental thyroid nodules are also found in about 16% of CT and MRI scans that include the thyroid region.

Thyroid nodules are defined on imaging as discrete lesions within the thyroid gland that are radiologically distinct from the surrounding thyroid parenchyma.

Although thyroid nodules are common, only about 4-7% are malignant, rising to around 15% in nodules larger than 10mm. Diagnosis is via fine-needle aspiration.5,6

This may be an

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