A heterogeneous thyroid is a thyroid gland that is not uniform in structure and may indicate a thyroid disorder, explains Health and Nutrition Tips. InnerBody.com notes that the thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the neck. The thyroid gland encircles the larynx and contributes to the Adam's apple prominence. It produces hormones that regulate the conversion rate of nutrients to energy in the body.
Abnormal tissues such as cystic nodules, adenomas and cancerous tumors appear as heterogeneous structures in thyroid ultrasound imagery. As explained by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, ultrasound technology is widely used in recognizing heterogeneous structural appearances and evaluating thyroid disorders. Heterogeneous ultrasound patterns provide physical imaging that may correlate to underactive or overactive thyroid conditions, helping to guide diagnosis and intervention. Thyroid ultrasound is used in conjunction with other diagnostic tools such as blood tests, thyroid scans and biopsies to reach a conclusive diagnosis for thyroid abnormalities.
Hypothyroidism refers to a low production of thyroid hormone and is often a result of thyroid damage caused by an autoimmune disease, explains WebMD. Hyperthyroidism refers to an overactive thyroid that produces high hormone levels, often caused by Graves disease or an overactive thyroid nodule. Overactive thyroid nodules often appear as enlarged, heterogeneous masses on ultrasound images.Learn More
Many conditions can cause the development of nodules in the thyroid gland, including iodine deficiency, overgrowth of thyroid tissue, cysts, inflammation of the thyroid and the development of a goiter, according to Mayo Clinic. Thyroid cancer can also cause thyroid nodules to develop.Full Answer >
High levels of thyroid indicate hyperthyroidism, a condition whereby the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone, according to WebMD. The most common cause of this is Grave's disease, which tends to be hereditary.Full Answer >
A cold nodule is a lump in the thyroid gland that is not making any thyroid hormones, according to Healthline. Hot nodules produce excessive amounts of hormones.Full Answer >
A thyroid nodule is simply a mass of extra thyroid cells within the thyroid gland, states the American Thyroid Association. The nodule is comprised of the same cells that make up the gland itself, but it is an abnormal growth.Full Answer >