Can thyroid size still be considered as a useful tool for assessing iodine intake?
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Polish Mother’s Memorial Hospital – Research Institute, Lodz, Poland
Department of Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases, Medical University of Lodz, Poland
Department of Pediatric Cardiology and Rheumatology, Medical University of Lodz, Poland
Department of Oncological Endocrinology, Chair of Oncological Endocrinology, Medical University of Lodz, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2015;22(2):301-306
It has always been very difficult to precisely define a goitre. For years, the borderline values have been sought which could be universally used in such evaluations. However, presented reference values were very often disappointing as they proved to be either too restrictive or too liberal.

The aim of the study was to assess the two methods of goitre evaluation: 1) traditional, based on ultrasound reference ranges for the thyroid size, 2) based on the analysis of thyroid volume (V) referred to the body surface area (BSA).

Material and Methods:
For this purpose, the study was conducted to evaluate the incidence of goitre and ioduria among 102 school-aged children in Opoczno, Poland. The study group comprised 59 girls and 43 boys; age range: 8–12 years.

The incidence of goitre among the examined children varied from 1.0–11.8% in relation to the age, and from 0–14.5% in relation to the BSA, depending on the references ranges used.

Analysis of V/BSA ratio is a better estimation of the size of the thyroid gland than the evaluation of thyroid size based on traditional ultrasound reference values. Summing up, relating the size of the thyroid gland to BSA is a good, sensitive tool for such analysis, and can be used for comparisons of different populations, as well as surveys conducted at different time points.

The study was supported by the statutory funds (No. 2013/ IV/40) from the Polish Mother’s Memorial Hospital – Research Institute, Lodz, Poland.
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