Guidelines for the management of thyroid nodules discovered during pregnancy have not yet been established. The authors reviewed the records of 23 patients with thyroid nodules that were first detected during pregnancy. These patients were divided into three groups according to how they were managed. Seven patients who presented early in pregnancy had their work-up completed during pregnancy, 11 patients underwent biopsy after delivery, and 5 patients were managed with observation alone. The incidence of malignancy in the series was 39%. Four patients underwent surgery during pregnancy, and 7 patients were operated on in the postpartum period. No fetal morbidity or mortality occurred. The authors recommend that fine-needle aspiration be performed in patients who present before 20 weeks of gestation with rapidly enlarging thyroid nodules, nodules associated with palpable cervical adenopathy, solid nodules larger than 2 cm, or cystic nodules larger than 4 cm. Growth of a nodule while a patient is receiving thyroid hormone suppression therapy is highly suspicious for malignancy; in this situation, consideration should be given to performing biopsy later in gestation.
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