Iodine Deficiency Differential Diagnoses

Updated: Oct 15, 2017
  • Author: Stephanie L Lee, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
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Diagnostic Considerations

Conditions to consider in the differential diagnosis of iodine deficiency include the following:

  • Euthyroid sick syndrome
  • Hurthle cell carcinoma
  • Hypothermia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Goiter - Nontoxic, toxic nodular, lithium-induced
  • Thyroiditis
  • Infertility
  • Pericardial effusion
  • Thyroid nodule
  • Papillary thyroid carcinoma
  • Hurthle cell carcinoma
  • Follicular thyroid carcinoma
  • Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma
  • Thyroid lymphoma
  • Thyroxine-binding globulin deficiency

Endemic goiter can be differentiated from sporadic, nontoxic, multinodular goiter only by a history of iodine deficiency. The nodules of a goiter associated with iodine deficiency disorder (IDD) cannot be distinguished from thyroid cancer based on the results of a physical examination. Any patient with a discrete nodule of at least 1-1.5 cm should be referred to an endocrinologist for evaluation with a fine-needle aspiration biopsy. Hypothyroidism secondary to IDD must be distinguished from Hashimoto disease or subacute thyroiditis.

Differential Diagnoses