Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Surg. 1988 Feb;155(2):215-23.

Diagnostic imaging techniques in thyroid cancer.

Author information

  • 1Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of Illinois College of Medicine, Chicago.


With the refinement of fine-needle aspiration, the specific applications of thyroid imaging techniques need to be reevaluated for efficiency and cost containment. No thyroid imaging test should be routinely obtained. Radionuclide scanning is most beneficial in evaluating the functional status of thyroid nodules when fine-needle aspiration is inadequate, the findings are benign, or when there is no discrete nodule that is palpated in an enlarged gland. When fine-needle aspiration is unavailable or unreliable, radionuclide scanning becomes a first-line diagnostic tool. Ultrasonography should be used primarily for identifying a solid component of a cystic nodule, determining the size of nodules on thyroxine suppression that are not easily palpable, or for performing guided fine-needle aspiration. Computerized tomography and magnetic resonance imaging both have a definite role in the evaluation of thyroid tumors. Magnetic resonance imaging is superior to computerized tomography for the evaluation of metastatic, retrotracheal, or mediastinal involvement of large thyroid tumors or goiters. Careful selection of the diagnostic techniques will ensure more accurate diagnosis and reduce unnecessary patient costs in the treatment of thyroid cancer.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk