Patients presenting with whole thyroid enlargement or growing nodules require a differential diagnosis between malignant thyroid disease, autoimmune thyroiditis and thyroid lymphoma. This is essential as the therapeutic consequences are quite different for each condition. Standard procedures for diagnosing increasing thyroid volume or growing nodules include sonography, scintigraphy to differentiate between functioning and nonfunctioning tissue, laboratory tests (thyroid function, autoantibodies, thyroglobulin, calcitonin) and Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology (FNAC). Differentiation between autoimmune thyroiditis and thyroid lymphoma can be especially challenging due to variable overlap of both conditions. We report the clinical course and diagnostic findings of three patients presenting with a rapidly growing and enlarged thyroid suspicious for lymphoma or malignant thyroid disease and compare the findings with the literature.
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Last date updated on September, 2014