Thyroid nodules - medical and surgical management

Posted by e-Medical PPT Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Thyroid nodules are lumps which commonly arise within an otherwise normal thyroid gland. They indicate a thyroid neoplasm, but only a small percentage of these are thyroid cancers.
After a nodule is found during a physical examination, a referral to an endocrinologist, a thyroidologist or otolaryngologist may occur. Most commonly an ultrasound is performed to confirm the presence of a nodule, and assess the status of the whole gland. Measurement of thyroid stimulating hormone and anti-thyroid antibodies will help decide if there is a functional thyroid disease such as Hashimoto's thyroiditis present, a known cause of a benign nodular goiter.
One approach used to determine whether the nodule is malignant is the fine needle biopsy (FNB).Ultrasound-guided FNA usually yields sufficient thyroid cells to assess the risk of malignancy, although in some cases, the suspected nodule may need to be removed surgically for pathological examination.
The blood assays may be accompanied by ultrasound imaging of the nodule to determine the position, size and texture, and to assess whether the nodule may be cystic. Also suspicious findings in a nodule are hypoechoic,irregular borders, microcalcifications, or very high levels of blood flow within the nodule. Less suspicious findings in benign nodules include, hyperechoic, comet tail artifacts from colloid, no blood flow in the nodule and a halo, or smooth border.
Solitary thyroid nodules are more common in females yet more worrisome in males. Other associations with neoplastic nodules are family history of thyroid cancer and prior radiation to the head and neck.Worrisome sign and symptoms include voice hoarseness, rapid increase in size, compressive symptoms (such as dyspnoea or dysphagia) and appearance of lymphadenopathy.

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