Anti-TPO antibodies: In autoimmune thyroid disease, proteins mistakenly attack the thyroid peroxidase enzyme, which is used by the thyroid to make thyroid hormones.
Thyroid ultrasound: A probe is placed on the skin of the neck, and reflected sound waves can detect abnormal areas of thyroid tissue.
Thyroid scan: A small amount of radioactive iodine is given by mouth to get images of the thyroid gland. Radioactive iodine is concentrated within the thyroid gland.
Thyroid biopsy: A small amount of thyroid tissue is removed, usually to look for thyroid cancer. Thyroid biopsy is typically done with a needle.
Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH): Secreted by the brain, TSH regulates thyroid hormone release. A blood test with high TSH indicates low levels of thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism), and low TSH suggests hyperthyroidism.
Thyroglobulins: A substance secreted by the thyroid that can be used as a marker of thyroid cancer. It is often measured during follow-up in patients with thyroid cancer. High levels indicate recurrence of the cancer.
Other imaging tests: If thyroid cancer has spread (metastasized), tests such as CT scans, MRI scans, or PET scans can help identify the extent of spread.
Thyroid surgery (thyroidectomy): A surgeon removes all or part of the thyroid in an operation. Thyroidectomy is performed for thyroid cancer, goiter, or hyperthyroidism.
Antithyroid medications: Drugs can slow down the overproduction of thyroid hormone in hyperthyroidism. Two common antithyroid medicines are methimazole and propylthiouracil.
Radioactive iodine: Iodine with radioactivity that can be used in low doses to test the thyroid gland or destroy an overactive gland. Large doses can be used to destroy cancerous tissue.
External radiation: A beam of radiation is directed at the thyroid, on multiple appointments. The high-energy rays help kill thyroid cancer cells.
Thyroid hormone pills: Daily treatment that replaces the amount of thyroid hormone you can no longer make. Thyroid hormone pills treat hypothyroidism, and are also used to help prevent thyroid cancer from coming back after treatment.
Recombinant human TSH: Injecting this thyroid-stimulating agent can make thyroid cancer show up more clearly on imaging tests.