European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology

, Volume 267, Issue 7, pp 1019–1026 | Cite as

Thyroid incidentalomas: to treat or not to treat

  • N. G. Iyer
  • Ashok R. Shaha
  • Carl E. Silver
  • Kenneth O. Devaney
  • Alessandra Rinaldo
  • Phillip K. Pellitteri
  • Alfio Ferlito


Incidental lesions of the thyroid gland are an increasing problem facing clinicians. While asymptomatic palpable lesions are detected in only 4–7% of the population, currently available imaging modalities are sensitive enough to detect lesions in 20–30% of the population. Guidelines for managing these incidentalomas are limited, largely due to lack of well-powered prospective studies. This review will address the currently available data on thyroid incidentalomas, detected through clinical examination, cross-sectional imaging, ultrasound, and PET scans. We will focus on the modalities of detection and risk of malignancy, further investigation and management options and the deficiencies therein. We propose a pragmatic algorithm when faced with this clinical dilemma under differing circumstances.


Incidental lesions Thyroid Ultrasound PET Management 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. G. Iyer
    • 1
  • Ashok R. Shaha
    • 1
  • Carl E. Silver
    • 2
  • Kenneth O. Devaney
    • 3
  • Alessandra Rinaldo
    • 4
  • Phillip K. Pellitteri
    • 5
  • Alfio Ferlito
    • 4
  1. 1.Head and Neck ServiceMemorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer CenterNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Surgery and Otolaryngology-Head Neck Surgey, Montefiore Medical CenterAlbert Einstein College of MedicineBronxUSA
  3. 3.Department of PathologyAllegiance HealthJacksonMIUSA
  4. 4.Department of Surgical Sciences, ENT ClinicAzienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria di UdineUdineItaly
  5. 5.Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck SurgeryGeisinger Medical CenterDanvilleUSA

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