Thyroid ultrasound examination
The size, structure, and certain deficiencies of the thyroid can be examined using ultrasound.
Thyroid ultrasound examination is mostly performed in the following cases:
- noticeable increase in size
- manually traceable knots
- to check the progress of existing knots
- laboratorical deviances that suggest thyroid deficiency
- pain around the thyroid
- abnormal thyroid isotopic result
- to check progress following surgeries
- suspected parathyroid tumor
The structure and size of the thyroid can be examined using ultrasound. Certain deviances cause the enlargement, others the shrinking of the thyroid. Size can even change depending on the disease and its treatment.
Knots are common deviances regarding thyroids. Their size and structure can be identified with ultrasound and the next step can be indicated. These knots on the thyroid are usually benign, but in certain cases, according to the rules of the profession, further examination of the knots might be required.
Inflammations and diffuse deviances (such as Basedow-syndrome that causes hyperthyroidism) can also be indicated with ultrasound.
Complementing thyroid ultrasound examinations, we always perform an examination of the soft parts of the neck, specifically the lymph node region. Lymph nodes could be depicted on the neck of almost everybody. The ones that require attention, check-ups, or further examinations are those of abnormal size or structure.
Preparation is not necessary. The neck must be made available. Necklaces should be removed and put away before the examination.
Limits, further examinations
Thyroid ultrasound examination is not difficult, only an extremely thick neck can cause any difficulties. If the size of the thyroid is drastically increased and it reaches below the collarbone, the parts below it cannot be examined. In such cases an MRI of the neck might be necessary.
The enlarged thyroid can narrow down or push aside the windpipe. This can be indicated to a certain extent with ultrasound as well, but its degree can be traced with the X-Ray examination of the windpipe.