Solitary thyroid nodule

Solitary thyroid nodule

DiseaseDisorder infobox
Name = Solitary thyroid nodule
ICD10 = E04.1
ICD9 = ICD9|241.0

olitary thyroid nodule

Risks for cancer

Solitary thyroid nodules are more common in females yet more worrisome in males. Other associations with neoplastic nodules are family history of thyroid cancer and prior radiation to the head and neck.

Radiation exposure to the head and neck may be for historic indications such as tonsillar and adenoid hypertrophy, "enlarged thymus", acne vulgaris, or current indications such as Hodgkin's lymphoma. Children living near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant during the catastrophe of 1986 have experienced a 60-fold increase in the incidence of thyroid cancer. Thyroid cancer arising in the background of radiation is often multifocal with a high incidence of lymph node metastasis and has a poor prognosis.

igns and symptoms

Worrisome sign and symptoms include voice hoarseness, rapid increase in size, compressive symptoms (such as dyspnoea or dysphagia) and appearance of lymphadenopathy.


*TSH - A thyroid-stimulating hormone level should be obtained first. If it is suppressed, then the nodule is likely a hyperfunctioning (or "hot") nodule. These are rarely malignant.
*FNAC - fine needle aspiration cytology is the investigation of choice given a non-suppressed TSH. Repeat the FNAC in 6 months if the nodule enlarges.
*Imaging - Ultrasound and radioiodine scanning.

Thyroid Scan

Cold - 85% of nodules are cold.Of these, up to 25% are malignant.

Hot - 5% of nodules are hot.Of these, 1% are malignant.


Surgery should be performed in the following instances
*Reaccumulation of the nodule despite 3-4 repeated FNACs
*Size in excess of 4 cm
*Complex cyst on thyroid ultrasound (showing solid and cystic components)
*Compressive symptoms
*Signs of malignancy (vocal cord dysfunction, lympadenopathy)

External links

* [ Minimal access thyroid surgery explained ]

ee also

* Thyroid nodule

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