The multinodular goiter is irregular enlargement of the thyroid gland at the expense of the gland itself and the presence of several nodules. It's more common in women.
When more than 10% of the population suffers from a multinodular goiter, it can be classified as endemic. The best-known endemic areas are located in high mountain regions; The most important factor of its appearance is the iodine deficiency in its diet (although it is also endemic goiter due to iodine excess).
The areas with the most deficits are those that are subject to heavy rains.
Symptoms of multinodular goiter
- Compressive syndrome ; When the goiter grows towards the thorax, being able to give respiratory or digestive problems, as well as dysphonia.
- Hyperthyroidism ; In 10% of the cases the goiter presents an excessive production of thyroid hormone. It is necessary to establish medical treatment with antithyroid drugs to control the function of the thyroid gland.
- Asymptomatic ; Is the most frequent. It manifests as a tumor in the anterior cervical level that is displaced by swallowing.
Diagnosis of multinodular goiter
To diagnose multinodular goiter, the following tests can be performed:
- Physical exploration
- ECO-PAA ; Is useful if one of the nodules is dominant or suspected of malignancy.
- Blood analysis ; To determine antithyroid antibodies and thus rule out thyroiditis (inflammation of the thyroid gland).
- Thyroid scan ; To detect functioning or poor functioning nodules.
- TAC, RM ; To assess thyroid size.
When to operate a multinodular goiter?
- As prophylaxis of compressive complications of adjacent anatomical structures.
- Suspicion of malignancy.
- Compression syndrome.
Surgical techniques to treat multinodular goiter
- Total or subtotal thyroidectomy (complete or partial removal of the thyroid gland).
For more information consult the specialist in General Surgery .