Does anyone know about Thyroid Scans?

My blood tests results have not shown I have a thyroid problem, so I'm wondering if a scan can sometime show up a problem when a blood test hasn't?

Also I did have a CT scan recently of my body (not sure how much of the neck was included though). Does anyone know if this kind of scan would have shown a problem or is a totally different kind of scan I would need anyway to check thyroid?

Thanks very much for your help

9 Replies

  • Briskate,

    What are your recent thyroid results and ranges?

    A thyroid scan will show the condition and size of the thyroid gland including damage consistent with Hashimoto's, nodules and cysts but diagnosis of hypothyroidism is based on blood results.

    You'll have to ask your doctor whether the CT scan included imaging of your thyroid gland.

  • My wife recently had a CT scan of the thyroid which showed up a large goiter has grown down toward her chest that she has to have removed. Firstly there's an ultrasound scan done, then there's CT scan done for more detail which is a special type of x-ray.. and is the norm..

    A CT scan makes use of computer-processed combinations of many X-ray images taken from different angles to produce cross-sectional (tomographic) images (virtual "slices") of specific areas of a scanned object, allowing the user to see inside the object without cutting.

  • Recently I've been getting this feeling like someone has their hands round my throat (a feeling of pressure). Has anyone else had this?

    So........does that mean a scan could show a problem when a blood test hasn't?

    Serum free T4 level 14.7 (range 12-22)

    TSH - 0.82 (range 0.27-4.20)

    serum free T3 - 5.6 (range 3.10 - 6.80)

    Thyroid autoantibodies - 7 <34.00


  • Briskate,

    If your GP palpates your neck and throat and detects a lump or swelling s/he may recommend an ultrasound scan. Pressure in your throat can be due to a thyroid goitre (inflammation of the thyroid gland). A scan will show whether there is a goitre, nodule or cyst or damage to the thyroid gland which may eventually cause hypothyroidism.

    Currently your blood levels are euthyroid and don't indicate thyroid dysfunction. TSH is low-normal, FT4 is low-normal and FT3 is very good in the upper third of range. Thyroid peroxidase antibodies are negative for autoimmune thyroid disease (Hashimoto's).

    Have you had ferritin, vitamin D, B12 and folate tested? Low/deficient levels can cause musculoskeletal pain, fatigue and low mood similar to hypothyroid symptoms.


    I am not a medical professional and this information is not intended to be a substitute for medical guidance from your own doctor. Please check with your personal physician before applying any of these suggestions.

  • Yes i've had all of those checked thoroughly. Been in bed for the last year, practically can't move and I'm in my thirties so shouldn't be like this! Had radiotherapy and chemotherapy a couple of years ago - thinking it might be linked somehow. Got an appointment with a new doctor next week, really hoping for some answers.

    Thanks for your help.

  • Briskate,

    I hope you find out what's making you so unwell.

  • briskate

    Please see the following links:-

    • ACR Manual on Contrast Media Addresses FDA Gadolinium Safety Concerns

    • ACR Committee on Drugs and Contrast Media

    ACR Manual on Contrast Media Version 10.2 2016

    • A Large Case–Control Study Confirms that Development of Abnormal Thyroid Function Is Associated with Iodinated Contrast Material

    Rhee CM, Bhan I, Alexander, EK, Brunelli SM.Association between iodinated contrast media exposure and incident hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Arch Intern Med.2012;172:153-9.

    • A Review: Radiographic Iodinated Contrast Media-Induced Thyroid Dysfunction Sun Y. Lee,* Connie M. Rhee,* Angela M. Leung, Lewis E. Braverman, Gregory A. Brent,† and Elizabeth N. Pearce† J Clin Endocrinol Metab, February 2015

    • Diseases of thyroid function: Hypothyroidism The American Association of Endocrine Surgeons

    Abnormal iodine intake

    Abnormal iodine intake can lead to hypothyroidism. The major building block of thyroid hormone is iodine, and therefore not enough iodine in the diet can lead to hypothyroidism. Inadequate iodine intake is rare in North America and most of Europe due to the use of iodized salt. The recommended daily iodine intake is approximately 150 mcg per day, and this is the equivalent of approximately 1 tablespoon of iodized table salt. Too much iodine in the diet can overwhelm the thyroid's ability to make thyroid hormone. This is called the Wolff-Chaikoff effect. Most individuals with normally functioning thyroid glands can quickly overcome this problem. However, older patients, those who have undergone a previous thyroidectomy, patients with Hashimoto's thyroiditis, and patients who have had RAI treatment may not be able to recover from this problem. In these cases, substances containing a large amount of iodine should be avoided. Specific thing to avoid are dietary supplements, cough medications, the drug amiodarone, and contrast agents used for certain radiology scans (like CAT scans).

    • Iodinated Contrast Medium Exposure During Computed Tomography Increase the Risk of Subsequent Development of Thyroid Disorders in Patients Without Known Thyroid Disease


    An association was identified between ICM exposure and the subsequent development of thyroid disorders, particularly hypothyroidism, in individuals without known thyroid disease. We recommend thatmonitoring of patients after ICM exposure should include not only those with known thyroid disorder but also those with normal thyroid condition; particularly close monitoring is warranted for patients with a markedly increased risk of mortality if thyroid disorders were to develop. When repeated ICM-enhanced image examination is necessary, an alternative image study without ICM use should be considered.

  • Except of course that in the UK salt is not iodised, and iodine deficiency is common.Really I despair when I read these non scientific generalisations in supposedly scientific papers.

  • Aspmama

    I believe that you may be referring to ‘The American Association of Endocrine Surgeons’ in respect of your comment “issued non-scientific generalisations in supposedly scientific papers”.

    ‘Abnormal iodine intake’ is just part of the OVERVIEW in “Diseases of thyroid function: Hypothyroidism”.

    I had hoped that the links I provided, would go some way in presenting a balanced approach to the adverse side effects of Contrast Media and Gadolinium Safety.

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