Thyroid isthmus agenesis and its clinical significance in a large-scale multidetector CT-based study

Seung Kwan Kim, Hyung Suk Seo, Young Hen Lee, Gil Soo Son, Sang il Suh

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    1 Citation (Scopus)


    Objective: The purpose of this study was to estimate the incidence and clinical significance of thyroid isthmus agenesis based on multi-detector CT imaging in a large-scale study. Methods: Data from 1601 patients who underwent neck multi-detector CT at our institution from January 2015 to March 2016 were included in this retrospective study. The morphology of each patient's thyroid gland was evaluated. We classified thyroid isthmus agenesis into two subgroups according to the thickness of the medial margin: clear-cut type (>4 mm) or tapering-edge type (≤4 mm). Associated thyroid pathologies were also evaluated. Results: Thyroid isthmus agenesis was present in 69 patients (41 males, 28 females), and its incidence was 4.77%. Eleven patients (0.76%) had the clear-cut type and 58 patients (4.01%) had the tapering-edge type. Papillary thyroid carcinoma was diagnosed in 4 patients (5.7% of isthmus agenesis patients). A total of 7 patients underwent thyroid function testing during the course of this study; 1 of these patients presented with borderline hyperthyroidism, and the remaining 6 were in a euthyroid state. The clear-cut type showed a statistically significant narrow gap and a high incidence of pyramidal lobes compared to the tapering-edge type. Conclusion: Thyroid isthmus agenesis is not a rare developmental anomaly of the thyroid gland on multi-detector CT. Based on the metastatic pathophysiology of differentiated thyroid cancer, more extended indications for lobectomy are expected in differentiated thyroid cancer patients with thyroid isthmus agenesis.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)106-110
    Number of pages5
    JournalClinical Imaging
    Publication statusPublished - 2020 Oct


    • Congenital abnormalities
    • Multidetector computed tomography
    • Thyroid diseases
    • Thyroid function tests
    • Thyroid gland

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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