Thyroid Nodules Discovered by Sonogram at a Health Fair

Kenneth D. Burman, MD


December 31, 2003

In This Article

Case Presentation

A 46-year-old man who has been in excellent general health underwent a thyroid sonogram at a recent health fair. Nonpalpable 1-cm thyroid nodules were detected bilaterally, located at the junction of the upper third of each lobe. The patient was told to see his primary care physician.

There was no cervical adenopathy, dysphagia, hoarseness, or neck discomfort, and no history of radiation to his neck. He has mild hypertension. Family history is negative, except for an older brother who had hypertension and died suddenly at age 50 during an operation for gallstones. Laboratory results were as follows: free T4: 1.6 ng/dL; TT3: 145 ng/dL; TSH: 2 mcU/mL. Because the nodules are not palpable, there was active debate among the staff members about whether these incidentally discovered thyroid nodules should be aspirated. The attending physician discussed the findings with the patient and recommended a bilateral fine needle aspiration under ultrasound guidance.