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Minerva Endocrinologica 2010 September;35(3):173-85

language: English

Surgical therapeutic planning options in nodular goiter

Pelizzo M. R. 1, Merante Boschin I. 1, Toniato A. 1, Sorgato N. 1, Marzola M. C. 2, Rubello D. 2

1 Surgical Pathology, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University of Padova, Istituto Oncologico Veneto (IOV), Padua, Italy;
2 PET/CT Center, Radiology, Department of Nuclear Medicine, Santa Maria della Misericordia Hospital, Rovigo, Italy


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Nodular goiter encompasses a spectrum of diseases from the incidental asyntomatic small solitary nodule to the large intrathoracic goiter causing pressure symptoms as well as functional complaints. The mainstay in the diagnostic evaluation is related to functional and morphological characterization with serum thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), ultrasound (US) and other imaging procedures and cytology by fine needle aspiration (FNA) on the basis of the different diseases. A clinical classification considering solitary cyst, adenomatous functioning nodule, follicular lesion and multinodular goiter may be proposed to consider the alternative therapies other than surgery as TSH suppressive or thyrostatic treatment, 131I therapy, percutaneous ethanol injection therapy (PEIT) or the only clinical exam in benignant lesions. Surgery should be advocated for the treatment of thyroid nodules whenever a patient presents with either pressure symptoms, hyperthyroidism or follicular/indeterminate cytology. Surgical approach, intraoperatory strategy and the extension of surgical treatment are correlated to the different clinical categories. At surgery the frozen section analysis in case of hemithyroidectomy is of aid to rule out malignancy and to prevent the reoperation. The surgical treatment of choice in case of uninodular goiter is lobectomy, total thyroidectomy or near total thyroidectomy is the correct treatment of multinodular bilateral goiter. The choice of the treatment must be condivided with the patient.

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mariarosa.pelizzo@unipd.it