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Age-dependent reference values of the thyroid gland in pediatric population; from routine computed tomography data

  • Jin Hee Sea
    Affiliations
    Department of Radiology, Chungnam National University Hospital, 282 Munhwa-ro, Jung-gu, Daejeon, 35015, Republic of Korea
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  • Hye Ji
    Affiliations
    Department of Radiology, Chungnam National University Hospital, 282 Munhwa-ro, Jung-gu, Daejeon, 35015, Republic of Korea
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  • Sun Kyoung You
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author at: Department of Radiology, Chungnam National University College of Medicine, 266 Munhwa-ro, Jung-gu, Daejeon, 35015, Republic of Korea.
    Affiliations
    Department of Radiology, Chungnam National University Hospital, 282 Munhwa-ro, Jung-gu, Daejeon, 35015, Republic of Korea

    Department of Radiology, Chungnam National University College of Medicine, 266 Munhwa-ro, Jung-gu, Daejeon, 35015, Republic of Korea
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  • Jeong-Eun Lee
    Affiliations
    Department of Radiology, Chungnam National University Hospital, 282 Munhwa-ro, Jung-gu, Daejeon, 35015, Republic of Korea

    Department of Radiology, Chungnam National University College of Medicine, 266 Munhwa-ro, Jung-gu, Daejeon, 35015, Republic of Korea
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  • So Mi Lee
    Affiliations
    Department of Radiology, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Kyungpook National University Hospital, 807 Hoguk-ro, Buk-gu, Daegu, 41404, Republic of Korea
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  • Hyun-Hae Cho
    Affiliations
    Department of Radiology, Ewha Womans University Mokdong Hospital, 1071, Anyangcheon-ro, Yangcheon-gu, Seoul, 07985, Republic of Korea
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      Highlights

      • Pediatric thyroid volume and measurements in all three dimensions show a tendency to increase until 18 years of age.
      • The depth of the right lobe shows the strongest correlation with thyroid volume.
      • Reference data will be helpful for screening of the thyroid gland in the pediatric population.

      Abstract

      Purpose

      To evaluate age-dependent reference values for measurements of the thyroid gland in pediatric patients.

      Method

      In total 425 chest and neck computed tomography images of pediatric patients without pathology of the thyroid gland were retrospectively reviewed. Measurements of the thyroid gland were obtained in three dimensions (width, depth, length). The total volume was the sum of volumes of each lobe. Measurements were compared among the six groups according to age from 0 to 18 years.

      Results

      There were moderate to strong positive linear correlations between age and all values (r = 0.58–0.82, all p < 0.001). The total volume of the thyroid gland showed a strong positive linear correlation with the three linear measurements of each lobe (all r > 0.7, all p < 0.001). Among these measurements, the depth of the right lobe showed the highest Pearson correlation coefficient with the total volume of the thyroid gland (r = 0.859).

      Conclusion

      The depth of right lobe could be a representative measurement of total thyroid gland volume, similar to prior findings in adults.

      Keywords

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