What is the role of TSH suppression testing in the workup of follicular thyroid carcinoma (FTC)?

Updated: Jun 18, 2020
  • Author: Luigi Santacroce, MD; Chief Editor: Neetu Radhakrishnan, MD  more...
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Answer

Thyroid cancer is autonomous and does not require TSH for growth, whereas benign thyroid lesions do. Therefore, when exogenous thyroid hormone feeds back to the pituitary to decrease the production of TSH, thyroid nodules that continue to enlarge are likely to be malignant. However, consider that 15-20% of malignant nodules are suppressible.

Preoperatively, the test is useful for patients with nontoxic solitary benign nodules and for women with repeated inconclusive test results. Postoperatively, the test also is useful in follow-up of FTC cases.


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