A thyroid nodule is a discrete radiologically distinct lesion in the gland parenchyma. These are a common finding in the general population, majority being diagnosed incidentally during neck imaging. The major clinical relevance lies in the fact that 4–6.5% of nodules can be malignant. A thorough clinical evaluation and examination should be followed by serum TSH assessment and ultrasonography for assessment of size, number, imaging characteristics suggestive of malignancy, cervical lymphadenopathy. FNA should be done based on clinical and sonographic characteristics. Further choice of management modality and extent of surgery should be based on cytopathological findings supplemented by molecular testing if available.
Part of the book: Goiter
Graves’ disease (GD) is an autoimmune disease caused by autoantibodies against thyroid stimulating hormone receptor (TSH-R), resulting in stimulation of thyroid gland and overproduction of thyroid hormones resulting in clinical manifestations. It is uncommon in children and is 6 times more prevalent in females. The symptomatology, clinical and biochemical severity are a function of age of onset of disease. Prepubertal children tend to present with weight loss and bowel frequency, associated with accelerated growth and bone maturation. Older children are more likely to present with the classical symptoms of thyrotoxicosis like palpitations, tremors and heat intolerance. Prepubertal children tend to have a more severe disease, longer duration of complaints and higher thyroid hormone levels at presentation than the pubertal and postpubertal children. The non-specificity of some of the symptoms in pediatric age group can lead to children being initially seen by other specialities before being referred to endocrinology. Management issues are decided based on patient’s priorities and shared decision making between patient and treating physician. Radioactive Iodine Ablation is preferred when there is relatively higher value placed on Definitive control of hyperthyroidism, Avoidance of surgery, and potential side effects of ATDs. Similarly Antithyroid drugs are chosen when a relatively higher value is placed on possibility of remission and avoidance of lifelong thyroid hormone treatment, Avoidance of surgery, Avoidance of exposure to radioactivity. Surgery is preferred when access to a high-volume thyroid surgeon is available and a relatively higher value is on prompt and definitive control of hyperthyroidism, avoidance of exposure to radioactivity and avoidance of potential side effects of ATDs. Continental differences with regards to management do exist; radio-iodine ablation being preferred in North America while Anti-thyroid drug treatment remains the initial standard care in Europe.
Part of the book: Graves' Disease