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Horm Res. 2007;68 Suppl 5:199-201. doi: 10.1159/000110625. Epub 2007 Dec 10.

Thyroid incidentalomas.

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  • 1Department of Endocrinology, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.



The prevalence of thyroid nodules in the general population varies according to the method of detection in use. In large population studies, about 5% of subjects have palpable thyroid nodules, while autopsy studies reveal a 49-57% prevalence of thyroid nodules that were asymptomatic during life, and thyroid ultrasonography (US) shows a 13-50% prevalence in the general population. The increased sensitivity of many imaging modalities has led, in turn, to increased detection of subclinical thyroid nodules and of small, nonpalpable incidentalomas, and a diagnostic approach to patients with these nodules is briefly summarized.


Despite the high prevalence of thyroid nodules discovered by US, clinically relevant thyroid malignancy remains rare and can be managed conservatively in most cases.

Copyright (c) 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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