Review of basic diagnostics of thyroid nodules at a time of increasing frequency of endocrine and oncological diseases
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Uniwersytet Medyczny w Łodzi, Polska
Kinga Krawiec   

Uniwersytet Medyczny w Łodzi, Polska
Introduction and objective:
Due to increased availability and frequency of imaging tests the diagnosis of thyroid nodules is becoming very common. Focal echostructure abnormalities in the ultrasound examination may be visible in more than a half of the examined patients. The aim of this study is to present the most important information about thyroid nodules in a way useful for everyday clinical practice of a physician, regardless of the specialization.

Review of the current state of knowledge:
The basis of the diagnostic algorithm in case of suspicion of thyroid focal changes is a thorough interview and physical examination of the patient. The risk of thyroid cancer should be assessed by analysing exposure to external factors and family history. Special oncological vigilance should be aroused by abnormal symmetry, size and consistency of the gland, and the presence of hard, non-painful and immovable surrounding lymph nodes. Thyroid nodules may manifest their presence giving local symptoms, mainly associated with compression and systemic symptoms resulting from disturbed hormone production. Compression symptoms are associated with reduced esophageal lumen, dyspnea and hoarseness. Ultrasound, TSH and US-FNAB examination of the thyroid gland are the basic tools for appropriate therapeutic management, which can range from simple observation to surgical resection.

The key role of the physician is to identify patients with a significant probability of malignant process. In most cases, current diagnostic methods of thyroid nodules enable accurate diagnosis, saving unnecessary surgical interventions in patients with mild lesions.

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