How are incidentally discovered thyroid nodules managed?

Updated: Jan 09, 2018
  • Author: Steven K Dankle, MD; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Advances in imaging technology have increased the potential for the incidental discovery of nonpalpable thyroid nodules. When the history and physical findings result in a low index of suspicion for malignancy, periodic follow-up evaluation with high-resolution ultrasonography is appropriate. Specific guidelines regarding such evaluation have not been established, but findings have raised concern that the incidence of malignancy in nonpalpable nodules may approach that of palpable nodules. For this reason, if sequential sonograms (eg, obtained at 6-mo intervals) reveal an increase in nodular size, ultrasonography-guided FNAB may be appropriate, even if the nodule remains nonpalpable.


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