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Evaluation And Management Of The Pediatric Thyroid Nodule.

Jeremy T Guille, Adwoa Opoku-Boateng, Susan L Thibeault, Herbert Chen
Published 2015 · Medicine
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Thyroid nodules are commonly diagnosed in adults. Although rare in children, the risk for thyroid cancer is much higher in the pediatric population compared with adults. Presenting as either a solitary nodule or a multinodular goiter, thyroid nodular disease in children requires a thorough workup that includes a detailed clinical examination comprised of prior history of thyroid disease in the patient or in their family, history of radiation exposure, careful palpation of the thyroid and lymph nodes, blood tests, ultrasonography, and cytological assessment. Thyroid surgery is the gold-standard treatment for pediatric thyroid nodules; nonetheless, the extent of surgery remains controversial. Because surgery is not without risk, the decision matrix necessitates focus on the benefits of surgery for the child contingent upon all the preoperative exams. New diagnostic technology such as molecular testing with fine needle aspiration biopsy may help distinguish between benign and malignant lesions while potentially decreasing surgery for benign disease. The objective of this review is to summarize new concepts in clinical disease management of nodular thyroid disease in the pediatric population, including patient history, medical examination, and diagnosis workup.
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