This study aimed to assess the characteristics of thyroid nodules among infants diagnosed with congenital hypothyroidism.
A retrospective study of 660 infants (374 males, 286 females) diagnosed with congenital hypothyroidism was carried out at the Pediatric Endocrine Clinic in Soonchunhyang University Hospital, Korea, between May 2003 and February 2013. The average age at diagnosis was 1.16±1.68 months.
Of the 28 patients (4.2%) with thyroid nodules, 17 (2.6%) had cystic thyroid nodules and 11 (1.6%) had solid thyroid nodules. There were no significant differences in gender or age between congenital hypothyroidism patients who hadthyroid nodules and those who did not. All nodules were asymptomatic. The average age at diagnosis of congenital hypothyroidism with nodules was 1.42±1.39 months. All detected nodules measured less than 1 cm in diameter. Twenty-two of the 28 infants (78.6%) had only one nodule, while multiple nodules were found in 6 infants (21.4%). Of the 28 infants diagnosed with nodules, 16 underwent thyroid ultrasonography during follow-up and 8 of them (50%) showed no signs of nodules at thyroid ultrasonography.
The prevalence of thyroid nodules in infants with congenital hypothyroidism was 4.2%. Most thyroid nodules were small in size and benign, disappearing during follow-up observation. We therefore conclude that thyroid nodules in infants with congenital hypothyroidism can simply be observed and do not require direct treatment.