14 doctors weighed in:

My blood test for thyroid came back negative but I have visible throat swelling. What could it be?

14 doctors weighed in
Dr. Quang Nguyen
Internal Medicine - Endocrinology
9 doctors agree

In brief: Get an ultrasound

The blood test does not rule out the presence of thyroid nodules/goiter/inflammation.
It just tell you that currently, the throat swelling is not disrupting the ability of the thyroid to produce hormone. The best way to look at the physical aspect of the neck is through thyroid/neck ultrasound. I agree with the need to measure thyroid antibodies to see if you have autoimmune thyroid disease.

In brief: Get an ultrasound

The blood test does not rule out the presence of thyroid nodules/goiter/inflammation.
It just tell you that currently, the throat swelling is not disrupting the ability of the thyroid to produce hormone. The best way to look at the physical aspect of the neck is through thyroid/neck ultrasound. I agree with the need to measure thyroid antibodies to see if you have autoimmune thyroid disease.
Dr. Quang Nguyen
Dr. Quang Nguyen
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Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology
3 doctors agree

In brief: Possibilities

Most folks with hashimoto's, especially early, have normal thyroid function tests though antibodies against thyroid proteins are common.
People with nodular goiter, which is even more common, usually have both tests normal. Agree that ultrasound is a reasonable next step.

In brief: Possibilities

Most folks with hashimoto's, especially early, have normal thyroid function tests though antibodies against thyroid proteins are common.
People with nodular goiter, which is even more common, usually have both tests normal. Agree that ultrasound is a reasonable next step.
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Dr. Ed Friedlander
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Dr. Samuel Freedman
Pediatrics
2 doctors agree

In brief: Goiter

Enlarged thyroid gland is the likeliest cause.
Thyroid function is different than inflammation. You likely have hashimotos disease which can be diagnosed by measuring thyroid antibodies in the blood. Get an ultrasound of your neck.

In brief: Goiter

Enlarged thyroid gland is the likeliest cause.
Thyroid function is different than inflammation. You likely have hashimotos disease which can be diagnosed by measuring thyroid antibodies in the blood. Get an ultrasound of your neck.
Dr. Samuel Freedman
Dr. Samuel Freedman
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Dr. Andrew Turrisi
Radiation Oncology
2 doctors agree

In brief: It can still

Be a goiter with normal thyroid tests, and if not, a lymph node or branchial cleft cyst would be possiblities.

In brief: It can still

Be a goiter with normal thyroid tests, and if not, a lymph node or branchial cleft cyst would be possiblities.
Dr. Andrew Turrisi
Dr. Andrew Turrisi
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1 comment
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Excellent answer. The majority of goiters do not produce abnormal thyroid hormone assays, or any problems. They "just happen", or result from mild autoimmune disease for which you can be tested if your physician is curious. Your doctor can distinguish goiter, cyst, and node. Good luck.
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