A thyroid ultrasound is a simple, non-invasive test that is done primarily to make a diagnostic assessment of thyroid nodules. Explanations with Dr. Dana Hartl, otolaryngology and cervicofacial surgery surgeon in the cervicofacial oncology department at the Gustave Roussy Institute.
Definition: what is a thyroid ultrasound?
“An ultrasound is a non-invasive and painless radiology examination which allows toassess the thyroid gland and the cervical lymph nodes” informs Dr. Dana Hartl, surgeon in otolaryngology and cervicofacial surgery. An ultrasound is non-irradiating because it does not use X-rays, this technology uses the ultrasound technique.
Indications: why do a thyroid ultrasound?
“Thyroid ultrasound is recommended during palpation of thyroid nodules and can also be used in case of hyperthyroidism in combination with scintigraphy” says Dr. Dana Hartl. Other indications for a thyroid ultrasound are monitoring of operated thyroid cancersguiding a cytopuncturethe monitoring of unoperated thyroid nodules. In contrast, “a sore throat, weight gain, fatigue are not indications for a thyroid ultrasound. says Dr. Hartl. “Certain symptoms may prompt a TSH test to look at thyroid function“ she explains.
Where to do a thyroid ultrasound?
Thyroid ultrasounds are performed in the radiology practices in town and in the radiology services in the hospital. “Some endocrinologist’s office do thyroid ultrasounds“says Dr. Dana Hartl.
A thyroid ultrasound does not require any special preparation. This exam takes place lying on an examination table. A gel is applied to the neck in order to promote the passage of ultrasound and the doctor then passes the ultrasound probe over the neck. “The particularity of a thyroid ultrasound is that it is difficult to interpret. It is often necessary to do a second ultrasound by a person who does a lot of ultrasounds of the thyroid and cervical lymph nodes” underlines the surgeon.
What is a normal thyroid ultrasound?
A normal thyroid ultrasound is an ultrasound which shows no nodule and no thyroid pathology obvious. In case of nodule, this examination gives the probability of malignancy of a thyroid nodule. “A thyroid ultrasound can classify thyroid nodules according to the EU-TIRADS classification” explains Dr. Dana Hartl. EU-TI-RADS 2 and 3 thyroid nodules look benign and reassuring on ultrasound. TI-RADS 1 means no thyroid nodule.”Thyroid nodules are extremely common. The older people get, the more thyroid nodules will be found, especially in women. The majority of these nodules are not cancerous” reassures Dr. Dana Hartl. Only 5% of thyroid nodules are malignant.
Only 5% of thyroid nodules are malignant.
What does an abnormal thyroid ultrasound result mean?
A thyroid ultrasound may reveal a suspicious thyroid nodule. EU-TIRADS 4 and 5 nodules have a higher risk of malignancy. “This directs towards other examinations in particular a cyto-puncture of the nodule, according to the size of the nodule” informs the surgeon.
What is the cost of a thyroid ultrasound and is it reimbursed?
The cost referenced by Social Security for a thyroid ultrasound is €34.97. She is reimbursed by Social Security at 70% of its basic rate provided that it has been prescribed by a doctor as part of the course of care. The mutual can reimburse the remainder.
Thanks to Dr. Dana Hartl, otolaryngology and cervicofacial surgery surgeon in the cervicofacial oncology department at the Gustave Roussy Institute.