What is the role of clinical history in the evaluation of a solitary thyroid nodule?

Updated: Oct 04, 2018
  • Author: Daniel J Kelley, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Answer

Answer

Thorough initial clinical evaluation of the patient with solitary thyroid nodule includes history of the thyroid mass, past medical history, family and social history, a careful review of systems, and a complete head and neck examination. Symptoms such as neck pain, stridor, dysphonia, and dysphagia increase clinical suspicion of a thyroid malignancy; however, none is diagnostic. Prior history of radiation exposure should be ascertained in all patients presenting with solitary thyroid nodule. Past medical history or family history of pheochromocytoma, hyperparathyroidism, chronic constipation and diarrhea, hypertension, and episodes of nervousness or excitability should alert the clinician of the possibility of familial MEN 2a or 2b syndrome.


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