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Thyroid Diseases

Heterogenous Thyroid Detection and Treatment

05/09/2007

Question:

After herniating c4-5 & c5-6, I was ordered an MRI to confirm diagnosis of herniation. The MRI showed a heterogenous thyroid. I went back to my PCP and showed him the MRI results and asked him to explain this to me. I had gained a lot of weight, and was waking up tired, no energy. My doctor said he thought I was depressed by a recent turn of events: family death and divorce. I was not placed on any medications and was told that he had no explanatin as to why he did not find this and only the MRI did.

A few months later while in the hospital for migraine headaches, a thyroid panel was done and still no doctor addressed the heterougenous thyroid. This making it a total of 5 doctors that paid no attention. I am a nurse and felt that at least one of them should have said or done something.

Answer:

It is not uncommon for an MRI to be able to detect a heterogeneous thyroid that cannot be felt by a physician. If your thyroid blood tests are normal then your symptoms are not from your thyroid. Your doctors certainly should have notified you of your test results, but the fact that no one said anything seems to suggest that the blood tests were normal. The thyroid is very likely to be a benign process, but I would probably do an ultrasound to be sure there are no nodules large enough to require biopsy. Also, your thyroid blood tests should be rechecked periodically - maybe once a year, and also any time there is a major change in your symptoms.

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Response by:

Thomas A Murphy, MD, FACP, FACE Thomas A Murphy, MD, FACP, FACE
Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University