Pediatric Multinodular Goiter
What is Pediatric Multinodular Goiter?
A goiter is an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. A multinodular goiter is made up of multiple thyroid nodules.
Multinodular goiter is more common in girls than in boys. Other risk factors may include:
- A family history of thyroid nodules
- Previous radiation exposure to the head and neck
- Age (incidence increases with age)
- Other thyroid conditions
What are the signs and symptoms of Pediatric Multinodular Goiter?
Many children with multinodular goiter do not have any symptoms, so the goiter is initially discovered during a routine physical exam. For those who do have symptoms, they may include:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Difficulty breathing
- Neck or throat pain
- Neck Mass / Swelling
- Unexplained weight loss
How is Pediatric Multinodular Goiter diagnosed?
There are several methods that are used for diagnosing multinodular goiter. Your doctor may use a combination of these methods:
- History and physical exam
- Blood tests to check thyroid hormone levels
- Radioactive iodine uptake test (a noninvasive test to determine how much radioactive iodine is absorbed by the thyroid gland over a period of time)
- Fine needle biopsy (removal of a small amount of thyroid tissue using a thin needle; the tissue is later examined under a microscope.)
What are the causes of Pediatric Multinodular Goiter?
The exact cause of multinodular goiter is unknown. Possible contributors may include:
How is Pediatric Multinodular Goiter treated?
Treatment for multinodular goiter may include:
- “Watchful waiting:” monitoring your child’s condition, but no initial treatment
- Medications to regulate thyroid hormones
- Radioactive iodine: a liquid that is absorbed into the thyroid and reduces the size and activity of the nodules
- Surgery to remove the nodules (all or part of the thyroid gland may also need to be removed.)
Pediatric Multinodular Goiter Doctors and Providers