Incidentalomas May Not Be Linked to Thyroid Cancer

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Thyroid nodules incidentally identified on imaging are not significantly related to rising thyroid cancer rates, according to an article published online in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Radiologist reports of neck ultrasounds, computerized tomography (CT), positron emission tomography (PET), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of the head, neck, and chest were examined for the prevalence of thyroid nodules.

Patients’ charts with a reported thyroid nodule were retrospectively analyzed in order to investigate the clinical outcomes of the nodules and then compared with dedicated radiology review of 500 randomly selected CT scans.

Results showed that out of 97,908 scans, 387 thyroid incidentalomas (0.4%), were reported on radiology reports. Out of these 387 identified nodules, 163 (42.1%) were evaluated using fine-needle aspiration (FNA), which led to 27 thyroid cancer diagnoses (0.03% of all studies, 7.0% of incidentalomas).

Furthermore, it was observed that 6,594 out of 100,000 ultrasounds, 142 out of 100,000 CT scans, 358 out of 100,000 PET scans, and 638 out of 100,000 MRIs all had incidentaloma prevalence.

The study’s findings suggest incidental thyroid nodules are far less common in routine clinical reports than in dedicated review.

The FDA approved Lenvima (lenvatinib) for the treatment of patients with progressive, differentiated
Thyroid nodules incidentally identified on imaging are not significantly related to rising thyroid cancer rates.
We aim to determine the true rate of incidental thyroid nodule reporting, malignancies rates of these nodules, and to compare these findings to rates of detection by dedicated radiology review.

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