Screening for Hypothyroidism
The purpose of screening is early diagnosis and treatment. Screening tests are usually administered to people without current symptoms, but who may be at high risk for certain diseases or conditions.
A physical examination by your healthcare provider may reveal signs of hypothyroidism, such as a slow pulse, large tongue, or slowed reflexes.
The best screening test is a blood test that measures thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). A high level of TSH suggests hypothyroidism. Other blood tests include T4, T3, and TBG (thyroid binding globulin).
Routine screening for thyroid disease with thyroid function tests is not recommended for children or nonpregnant women without symptoms, as per the US Preventive Services Task Force. However, screening is appropriate in the following :
American Academy of Pediatrics. Update of newborn screening and therapy for congenital hypothyroidism. Pediatrics. 2006;117:2290-2303.
American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists website. Available at: http://www.aace.com/ .
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: http://www.acog.org/ .
The American College of Physicians website. Available at: http://www.acponline.org/ .
National Guideline Clearinghouse website. Available at: http://www.guideline.gov/ .
The United States Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for thyroid disease: recommendation statement. Ann Intern Med. 2004;140:125-127
Last reviewed November 2008 by
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