Depending on which instructions the first examination steps have delivered, further tests follow. These can be used, for example, to check the synthesis performance or blood circulation, to recognize genetic causes, to determine operative measures (or to check the success of the operation).
Various special examinations of the thyroid gland
- Dynamic functional tests: In order to assess an overactive or underactive thyroid more accurately, you inject substances that stimulate the hormone secretion from the thyroid (stimulation test) or inhibit (suppression test), and checks the thyroid hormones in the blood before and then several times at regular intervals. Depending on how the thyroid reacts, one can draw conclusions about the nature of the disorder.
- Scintigraphy: The patient is radiolabeled substances injected and recorded their inclusion in the thyroid or Epithelkörperchengewebe with special cameras and displayed in color. Thus, metabolic activity and function can be estimated, which is often not so easy in the small parathyroid glands. If parathyroid dysfunction is suspected, bone scintigraphy of the whole body may be indicated, namely, if one speculates that a tumor with secondary tumors in the bone is the cause.
- Other imaging techniques: If we suspect an over- or under-function of the parathyroid glands, conventional X-ray images are often made, because they are well on the skeletal changes caused by the hormone disorder. Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging are used in particular in the evaluation of tumors and for metastasis search.
- Further blood tests: Certain thyroid diseases (for example, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, Graves' disease) produce antibodies against the body's own tissue, which can be detected in the blood. Inflammation also changes certain blood levels.
- Laryngoscopy: This can be used to assess the condition of the vocal cords, which is particularly important for the planning and follow-up of thyroid surgery in cancer.
- Genetic diagnostics: There are thyroid and parathyroid disorders that are hereditary; some are common with diseases of other organs of the endocrine system (multiple endocrine neoplasia = MEN). DNA changes can be detected using a variety of genetic diagnostics methods. This may be indicated, for example, for the genetic counseling of parents who wish to have children.