Course:PostgradFamilyPractice/ExamPrep/99 Priority Topics/Thyroid
Thyroid - Key Features
1. Limit testing for thyroid disease to appropriate patients, namely those with a significant pre-test probability of abnormal results, such as:
- those with classic signs or symptoms of thyroid disease.
- those whose symptoms or signs are not classic, but who are at a higher risk for disease (e.g., the elderly, postpartum women, those with a history of atrial fibrillation, those with other endocrine disorders).
2. In patients with established thyroid disease, do not check thyroid-stimulating hormone levels too often, but rather test at the appropriate times, such as:
- after changing medical doses.
- when following patients with mild disease before initiating treatment.
- periodically in stable patients receiving treatment.
3. When examining the thyroid gland, use proper technique (i.e., from behind the patient, ask the patient to swallow), especially to find nodules (which may require further investigation).
Note: The investigation of thyroid nodules is not covered here.
BC Guidelines Thyroid Function Tests in the Diagnosis and Monitoring of Adults www.bcguidelines.ca/guideline_thyroid.html