• The presence of goiter was originally determined from autopsy studies that weighed the thyroid gland, but this was superseded by the use of ultrasound by which a goiter is diagnosed if:
    • The size of the thyroid gland is greater than three standard deviations of the median:
      • Volume 18 ml for women and 25 ml for men
  • Goiter is more common in iodine-deficient regions of the world:
    • Where endemic goitre affects 10% of the population
  • In Framingham:
    • Clinically apparent nodules (palpation) were present in:
      • 6.4% of women and 1.5% of men:
        • The presence of single thyroid nodules was 3%, and multinodular goiter was 1%
  • In an autopsy study in 1955:
    • 50% of people had thyroid nodules and the majority were multiple
  • Like autopsy, imaging frequently reveals subclinical thyroid nodules and, when ultrasound is used in epidemiological studies:
    • The estimate of goiter prevalence is 19% to 67%
  • Incidental thyroid nodules are seen in up to:
    • 25% of contrast-enhanced chest CT scans
    • 16% to 18% of CT and MR scans of the neck
    • 1% to 2% PET scans
  • In patients under 40 years:
    • The goiter is typically a solitary nodule,
  • Whereas diffuse goitrer is more common over the age of 65 years
  • The female to male ratio is:
    • 4:1

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