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Diagnosing thyroid nodules

Diagnosing thyroid nodules
  • Endocrinology and metabolism
Thyroid disorder


6 June 2018

Thyroid nodules are a specialist area, but endocrinologists and general practitioners need to know how to interpret thyroid ultrasound scans and whether or not to sanction further investigations. Dr Gabriela Brenta has developed this online course to help clinicians correctly interpret ultrasound scans of thyroid nodules.

An array of real clinical cases are presented, and for each one, Dr Brenta guides the user through the decision-making process, with reference to three recently published sets of guidelines, the 2015 American Thyroid Association Management Guidelines for Adult Patients with Thyroid Nodules and Differentiated Thyroid Cancer: The American Thyroid Association Guidelines Task Force on Thyroid Nodules and Differentiated Thyroid Cancer, the 2016 American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, American College of Endocrinology, and Associazone Medici Endocrinologi Medical Guidelines for Clinical Practice for the Diagnosis and Management of Thyroid Nodules and the 2017 Thyroid Imaging, Reporting and Data System (TI-RADS) of the American College of Radiology.

When the guidelines agree, the course of action is simple. When conflicting advice is apparent, this can cause doubt regarding the best way forward. These real-life scenarios are chosen to show both the easy decisions, and to help with decisions that are not clear-cut.

Learning objectives

By the end of this course participants will:

  • Know the main features of three current sets of guidelines for diagnosing thyroid nodules. These are not the only diagnostic tools published, and there are others available that are also useful and relevant for diagnosis.
  • Interpret thyroid nodule ultrasounds, picking out key features and characteristics.
  • Cross-reference findings from the ultrasound images to guideline recommendations.
  • Decide from guideline recommendations, patient history and from personal experience the appropriate course of action for an individual patient - whether fine needle aspiration biopsy is warranted or not.

Target audience

Endocrinologists, primary care physicians, doctors-in-training or those wanting to specialise in thyroid disorders.

Instructions for participation

There are no fees for participating in this online activity.

This online course is expected to take approximately 60 minutes for completion.

As you progress through the course material there are several short true/false questions. The answers to the questions are provided as pop-ups as you answer the question. These questions are not part of the course assessment but provide focus for you to reflect on the material covered in the previous section.

Once you have completed the activity, you should undertake the final assessment test comprising 10 questions. If you achieve a score of 80% or greater you will be able to download a certificate of completion for your records.