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Semi-quantitative palpation to diagnose feline hyperthyroidism
Hyperthyroidism is the most common endocrinopathy in older cats. Diagnosis is usually confirmed by an increased TT4 level. In this study, the relationship between a semi-quantitative palpation of the thyroidea and TT4 levels is evaluated in more than 150 cats. With very interesting results!

In 155 cats, both with and without clinical signs of hyperthyroidism, total thyroxine (TT4) concentrations were compared to a sensitive, semi-quantitative thyroid palpation technique.

On the basis of TT4 concentrations, 23 of the 155 cats were classified as hyperthyroid. The size of individual thyroid glands was scored between `0` (non-palpable) and a maximum of `6`.

One or more enlarged thyroid glands (score >0) were palpated in 22 of the 23 hyperthyroid cats and in 78 of the 132 euthyroid cats.
However, none of the 132 euthyroid cats had a thyroid lobe score of greater than `3` whereas 18 of the 23 hyperthyroid cats had a thyroid lobe score of `4` or greater, and in two of the five that had scores below `4` there was evidence of intrathoracic functional thyroid tissue on scintigraphy.

Source: G. D. Norsworthy, V. J Adams, M. R. Mcelhaney, J. A. Milios (2002): Relationship between semi-quantitative thyroid palpation and total thyroxine concentration in cats with and without hyperthyroidism. In: Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery , 4, 3, September 2002 139-143




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