Choosing Wisely:

Don’t use nuclear medicine thyroid scans to evaluate thyroid nodules in patients with normal thyroid gland function.

Rationale and Comments: Nuclear medicine thyroid scanning does not conclusively determine whether thyroid nodules are benign or malignant. Cold nodules on thyroid scans will still require biopsy. Nuclear medicine thyroid scans are useful to evaluate the functional status of thyroid nodules in patients who are hyperthyroid.
Sponsoring Organizations:
  • Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
  • Sources:
  • Expert consensus
  • Disciplines:
  • Endocrinologic
  • References: • Welker MJ, et al. Thyroid nodules. Am Fam Physician. 2003;67(3):559-67.
    • American Thyroid Association Guidelines Taskforce on Thyroid Nodules and Differentiated Thyroid Cancer, et al. Revised American Thyroid Association management guidelines for patients with thyroid nodules and differentiated thyroid cancer. Thyroid. 2009;19(11):1167-214.
    • Lee JC, et al. Thyroid scans. Aust Fam Physician. 2012;41(8):586.

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