Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Molecular Mechanisms of Disease

pp 2075-2076

Thyroid Nodules, Cold

  • Seda SancakAffiliated withMarmara University Medical SchoolIII. Medical Department, University of Leipzig
  • , Markus EszlingerAffiliated withIII. Medical Department, University of Leipzig
  • , Ralf PaschkeAffiliated withIII. Medical Department, University of Leipzig

Definition and Characteristics

The term cold nodule indicates that this thyroid lesion shows reduced technetium uptake compared with normal thyroid tissue on scintiscan [1] (Fig. 1).
Thyroid Nodules, Cold. Figure 1

The lack of scintigraphic Technetium uptake in CTNs correlates with a lack of NIS cell membrane insertion, (a) Scintigraphy, (b) NIS localized in the cell membrane of hot nodule, (c) NIS localized intracellularly in cold nodule.


Approximately 85% of all thyroid nodules are cold thyroid nodules (CTNs) [1]. The large majority of them are benign and ∼5% of all nodules are malignant [2]. The prevalence may vary geographically with iodine supply.


In agreement with the decreased scintigraphic uptake, a defective cell membrane targeting of NIS has been reported for CTNs [3]. Moreover, a markedly increased proliferation, increased expression of histone mRNAs and cell cycle-associated genes like cyclin D1, cyclin H/cyclin depende ...

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