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The condition may be suspected clinically on the basis of the goitre with or without hypothyroidism.

Serum TSH is usually raised.

Measurement of antithyroid antibodies reveal:

  • antithyroid peroxidase antibodies (previously known as thyroid microsomal antibodies) - high titre
  • thyroglobulin antibodies - low titre

The gland may feel lumpy or irregular and biopsy may be necessary to distinguish it from a carcinoma of the thyroid. Surgical incision has been likened to cutting through an unripe pear.

Last reviewed 01/2018