Methods for diagnosing the thyroid gland

In the article we will talk in detail about diagnostics of thyroid gland diseases. We will generally consider the topic, but we will delve into the diagnostics of various pathologies. We learn about modern and traditional methods, let's talk about their advantages and disadvantages.

The thyroid gland regulates the work of the nervous and cardiovascular system through the production of hormones. That's why a lot depends on this little protector. If the gland is broken, you should consult your doctor as soon as possible to find out the cause and prescribe the treatment.

When is a comprehensive examination necessary?

To begin with, we recall that the symptoms of a breach of the thyroid gland are almost always the same, so confusing them is quite difficult. First, it is discomfort in the neck, fatigue, cough, swelling of the extremities. Against this background, there is a sharp deterioration in the condition of nails, hair, and skin. The listed symptoms are very often characteristic of a number of other diseases. That is why it is worthwhile to address the therapist initially, that he, proceeding from the main complaints of the patient, gave directions to a certain doctor.

The chief expert on work with disorders of this gland is an endocrinologist. He will most likely prescribe hormone tests in order to detect inflammatory processes, hormonal failure or the presence of formations in the gland. However, before the final diagnosis is made, the patient will have to undergo many additional procedures.

thyroid diagnostics

Often, research can be administered due to regular stress, poor nutrition or environmental intoxication. All this can easily lead to gland failure. Pathology, in which its functions are weakened, is called hypothyroidism. It manifests itself in the form of a depressed state, weight gain, fatigue, constipation. Pathology, in which the function of the gland is too active, is called hyperthyroidism. It is manifested by increased irritability, excitability and rapid weight loss with excellent appetite.

Cancer of this organ is manifested by difficulty breathing, a feeling of compression in the neck. Also swell the lymph nodes, wheeze voice. Of course, such symptoms can occur with other diseases, but after examination by an endocrinologist it is better to undergo a comprehensive examination.


Diagnosis of the thyroid gland consists of a number of complexes of laboratory and instrumental studies. First, the simplest method is used, namely palpation. After this, the patient is referred for ultrasound. If there is a suspicion of the presence of a tumor, puncture and scintigraphy should be performed. It is also very important to pass tests for the hormones produced by the thyroid gland. Their imbalance is capable of indicating a real cause of the violation.


The simplest diagnosis of diseases of the thyroid gland is an examination. An experienced physician can determine the mobility and size of the gland. He can also determine the presence and location, and even the nature of goiter. Recall that it can be nodal or diffuse.

During the diagnosis the doctor grasps the neck and gently presses on the gland area. For the patient, this procedure is almost painless, but it allows you to establish a diagnosis with an accuracy of 60%.In this case, palpation of the lymph nodes is necessarily performed. So, if they are increased in size on the background of low tooth mobility, then this can indicate the presence of cancer tumors.

Note that there are 6 levels of the size of the gland. At zero level, it has a normal size, but on the fifth level it can reach considerable dimensions and greatly hinder breathing. In this case, the doctor should check whether the iron is squeezing the carotid artery.

diagnostics of diseases of the thyroid gland

Ultrasound examination

Ultrasonic diagnosis of the thyroid gland allows to determine the contours of the organ, the uniformity of its tissues and structure. Thanks to ultrasound, you can find out about the presence or absence of tumors. Such data are necessary for the doctor to make the final diagnosis. Due to this method of research it is possible to determine whether focal or diffuse disorders occur in the organ. Diffuse infringement means that there is a change in the structure of the entire gland. This pathology can be detected even during palpation. The doctor may notice an increase in the organ in volume.

Focal pathologies mean nodes of inflammation in which tissue proliferation occurs. In this case, pathologies can be complex or diffuse-focal, which occurs quite often. The results of ultrasound suggest the presence of adenoma, nodular goiter, thyroiditis, cyst, and cancer. However, this method can not guarantee the accuracy of the diagnosis. He concentrates on external evaluation of the gland. In order to know the nature of the course of certain processes, it is necessary to investigate the level and ratio of hormones. Sometimes tissue biopsy may be required.

We note that in the early stages of the diagnosis of oncological pathologies, electrography is performed. This is also an ultrasound diagnosis of the thyroid gland, which allows you to know about the density of tissues. Thus, the neoplasm can be determined at the initial stage.

ultrasound diagnostics of the thyroid gland

Radial methods

As we know, the thyroid gland is a lobular organ that is located in the middle of the neck. It consists of two parts on each side, which are connected by an isthmus. Many people do not have it or it is a thin strip of fibrous tissue. Note that the size and volume of the gland can vary depending on sex and age.

Radiation diagnosis of the thyroid gland is a complex of actions, which includes radiography and computed tomography. An X-ray photograph is able to show the presence or absence of certain neoplasms, as well as the deposition of calcium salts. As in the previous methods of diagnosis, with the help of X-ray study you can learn about the location and size of the gland. Advantages of this method is that the photograph is a documentary diagnostic paper and it is static. The disadvantage of this method is that with such a survey the body receives a certain fraction of the radiation. Despite the fact that it is insignificant, it is often not necessary to carry out such a study.

Computed tomography is a modern method of research. However, this method is used to study cells. This method is effective if the iron exerts strong pressure on neighboring organs, and when it is required to evaluate the method and necessity of surgical intervention. In this computer tomography can show the exact location of tumors.

MRI is a method that is absolutely safe for the body. This is an expensive procedure, but it does not subject the radiation organ to additional radiation. As a result, a specialist receives a snapshot, which can detect the size and location of even small formations, changes in the shape and structure of the gland.

radiation diagnosis of the thyroid gland

Cytological diagnosis of the thyroid gland

The material for the cytological examination is obtained by the method of thyroid puncture. This is a simple and rather cheap way, which is also painless. This preoperative method makes it possible to carry out a morphological verification of a certain process. Often the cytological examination is carried out in parallel with the histological examination. The purpose of the first is to reduce the number of mandatory operations that are performed by patients without neoplasms. Also, this method is often used to prevent malignant lesions. At the same time, he gained a lot of popularity because the cases when the patients operate are increased, even if there is no special need for it. The fact is that with such an intervention, the risk of various complications increases.

The indication for a cytological study is a tumor. Also, this method is used in nodal formations. In principle, with any small pathologies, it will be correct to conduct such a study of the body to outline a specific treatment plan. That is why surgeons, cytologists and endocrinologists should work together. The essence of their work should consist of a complex diagnosis based on different levels of research.

Consider how the puncture is performed. The patient should assume a horizontal position. He is forbidden to talk or swallow. The specialist uses 23 gauge needles to pierce the neck. Local anesthesia can be used. The value of such an analysis is significantly increased if the material is immediately evaluated by a cytologist. To obtain the most accurate diagnosis and exclude the possibility of malignant education, at least two punctures are performed.

Differential Diagnosis of the Thyroid

Differential diagnosis implies different methods of thyroid diagnostics. Such a study is necessary in the event that it is difficult to make an unambiguous diagnosis. Thus the endocrinologist should spend the maximum quantity or amount of measures for defining a disease. He can connect other professionals who will help him in this. Differential diagnosis involves the use of different techniques in order to achieve an early diagnosis or avoid surgical intervention. Such adherence is quite popular and modern, but it is expensive.

laboratory diagnostics of the thyroid gland

Other methods of

Now let us consider other methods of thyroid diagnostics in more detail. Scintigraphy is often used. This is a method in which the body is injected with radioisotope substances. They accumulate in the gland, and after that it appears in the pictures after using gamma cameras. Thus, the specialist receives a three-dimensional model of the organ, on which the accumulation of radioisotopes is clearly visible. Especially useful is this method of diagnosis for cancer tumors. Harmful isotopes are rapidly eliminated from the body with feces and urine.

Tissue biopsy is a known cellular diagnostic method that is used for suspected cancer. Thanks to this method, it is possible to determine with absolute accuracy the nature of the neoplasms. The principle of this method is that the patient takes a sample of thyroid tissue. Using a special game, the doctor makes several punctures in the neck and receives the resulting material from the cytologist. In fact, biopsy and puncture are the same procedure.

Laboratory diagnostics of the thyroid gland

. Note that this body produces 2 main hormones T3 and T4, which are necessary for the body for proper metabolism. At the same time the pituitary gland produces thyroid-stimulating hormone, which affects the gland functioning. The analysis on it or him to hand over too is necessary, because problems with a thyroid gland can be caused by failures in work of a brain.

There are three types of analysis. The first is radioimmune analysis, which is the most common and accurate method. The patient takes venous blood, which is later mixed with a radioactive reagent that can bind to the hormone. After a while, free and bound substances separate and determine the results. The second type of analysis is luminescent. In this case, the patient also takes venous blood and acts on it with ultraviolet light. After that, the lab worker calculates the amount of the desired hormone with a fluorometer. And the third kind of analysis is enzyme. It is necessary to determine the concentration of thyroid hormones. In this case, too, takes venous blood, which is mixed with the reagent.

Nodal pathology

Nodules can form in different parts of the gland. They are asymptomatic, so most often they are discovered quite accidentally. In this nodal pathology is very common. For their diagnosis, palpation, ultrasound, and laboratory tests are used. Sometimes a puncture biopsy is performed, which can give very accurate results.

differential diagnostics of the thyroid gland

We examined all methods of diagnosing thyroid diseases. From this we can conclude that at the moment there are modern techniques that allow you to know about the condition of this organ without surgical intervention. In this ultrasound diagnosis of the thyroid remains the most popular method of investigation. In principle, there is nothing wrong with this method, since it gives fairly accurate information. However, the diagnosis of the thyroid gland depends on the treatment, so it is necessary to approach this issue very carefully and consult the best specialists.

Remember that doctors advise every year to visit the endocrinologist's office. Moreover, it is recommended to undergo diagnostics of thyroid diseases and take tests, even if there is no special indication for this. Since the age of 25, every year it is necessary to be surveyed comprehensively. Time passed tests and diagnostics of the thyroid gland will avoid a huge number of problems.

methods of diagnosing thyroid diseases

Special attention should be paid to people who are at risk. These are adults and those who have cases of thyroid disease in the family. Also, one must be careful of those who live in radiation zones and are susceptible to irradiation of the head and neck. Remember that even a detected node can be colloidal, and then no treatment is needed. It is not necessary to remove such an education, since it is not dangerous for health. But at the same time there can be a serious education, which can be successfully cured only at the beginning of the journey.