What is the role of CT scans, MRI and PET scans 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

CT scanning and MRI have a limited role in the initial evaluation of solitary thyroid nodule. [12] Indications for these imaging techniques include suspected tracheal involvement, either by invasion or compression, extension into the mediastinum, or recurrent disease. Use of intravenous iodinated contrast agent in CT scanning makes thyroid scanning impossible because of the iodine load. The role of positron emission tomography (PET) in the preoperative evaluation of follicular or indeterminate nodules remains unclear due to problems with accuracy. Routine use of PET scans in the evaluation of solitary thyroid nodules is not recommended at the present time.


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