Thyroid incidentaloma in Isfahan, Iran – a population-based study
Introduction: Thyroid nodules not detected in palpation but diagnosed following a radiological procedure or during surgery are called thyroid incidentalomas. We designed this study to investigate the prevalence of sonographic thyroid incidentaloma in Isfahan, Iran, for the first time.
Material and methods: By a multistage cluster sampling method, 2523 adults were selected randomly. From this group, 2045 had normal thyroid examination. 234 out of the 2045 were selected randomly for thyroid sonography. Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), urinary iodine concentrations (UIC) and antithyroid antibodies were measured.
Results: The prevalence of thyroid incidentaloma was 13.2% [Confidence interval (CI) 95% = 8-18]. The average age of subjects with and without incidentaloma was 46.1 (12.4) and 38.4 (12.1), respectively (P = 0.002). It was more prevalent in females than in males (19% vs. 10%) [Odds ratio (OR) = 2.59, CI 95% = 1.17-5.76, P value (P) = 0.01]. Median UIC in the incidentaloma group (14 microg/dl) was significantly lower than in the group of subjects without nodules (20 microg/dl) (OR = 0.9, CI 95% = 0.91-0.99, P = 0.02). There was no difference in the levels of TSH and antithyroid antibodies between the two groups (P > 0.05). Mean diameter of nodules was 8.14 (3.43) mm.
Conclusions: The prevalence of thyroid incidentaloma was 13.2% in Isfahan. It was higher in females than males and increased with age.
Keywords: thyroid nodule, ultrasonography, Iran, adult