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Minerva Endocrinologica 2021 Jan 12

DOI: 10.23736/S0391-1977.20.03312-X


language: English

Normal thyroid volume in subjects evaluated in a primary ambulatory setting in Liguria

Massimo GIUSTI 1, 2 , Marilena SIDOTI 1, 3

1 Endocrine Unit, Centro Diagnostico Priamar, Savona, Italy; 2 Endocrine Unit, IRCCS Policlinico San Martino, Genoa, Italy; 3 SS Endocrinologia e Metabolismo, ASL 1, Sanremo, Imperia, Italy


BACKGROUND: Ultrasonography (US) is the simplest method of evaluating thyroid volume (TV). The current normal TV in Liguria is not known. The aim of this study was to obtain normative data on TV in Liguria.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: From 3552 files of endocrine evaluations registered in a primary outpatient setting, we selected 483 files on euthyroid subjects (383 females and 100 males) with a normal echoic pattern on US. The inclusion criterion was the absence of thyroperoxidase autoantibodies and drugs known to interfere with thyroid hormone secretion or metabolism. TV was calculated by means of US. Anthropometric characteristics, smoking habits and the district where subjects lived were registered.
RESULTS: Less than 50% of patients were not taking any drug. The percentage of obesity was similar in both sexes. TSH levels were similar in males and females. Median TV was 8.0 ml (IQR 6.7 - 9.8 ml) in females and 11.8 ml (9.3 - 15.6 ml) in males (P<0.0001). In females, TV was greater (P=0.01) in smokers than in non-smokers. In both sexes, the right lobe was significantly (P<0.0001) larger in volume than the left. Post-hoc analysis did not show any differences among age-groups in either females or males. In females, but not in males, TV differed significantly (P=0.0002) according to the district of residence. A significant positive correlation was found in both groups between TV and weight, height, BMI and BSA.
CONCLUSIONS: Reference values of TV in the Ligurian population are now available. TV in the general population could be compared with these normative data.

KEY WORDS: Thyroid volume; Ultrasonography; Female and male subjects; Liguria region

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