Iodine Deficiency Differential Diagnoses

Updated: Jul 15, 2018
  • 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