Diagnosis of Thyroid Disease

Ashley DAvidoff Md

Th Common Vein Copyright 2010


For the clinician clinical diagnosis is determining the functional status of the thyroid and whether the patient appears euthyroid, hypothyroid or hyperthyroid.

The clinical examination aims at refining the clinical suspicions of thyroid dysfunction and also requires careful examination to determine whether the gland is enlarged and whether there are any nodules.

Blood tests measure thyroxine and TSH that enables evaluation of autonomous function, hyperproduction and hypoproduction.

Ultrasound is used initially to evaluate the size of the gland and also to characterize nodules and particulalrly to define nodules that may require biopsy.

If a lesion is suspicious based on size or character, then ultrasound guided biopsy is performed.

Nuclear medicine is used to determine the overall functional activity of the thyroid or a nodule and specifically to determine whether the tyroid or the nodule is hyperactive (hot) normal, or hypoactive (warm)  or inactive (cold)