Thyroid ultrasound findings in a follow-up survey of children from three Japanese prefectures: Aomori, Yamanashi, and Nagasaki

Naomi Hayashida, Misa Imaizumi, Hiroki Shimura, Fumihiko Furuya, Noriyuki Okubo, Yasushi Asari, Takeshi Nigawara, Sanae Midorikawa, Kazuhiko Kotani, Shigeyuki Nakaji, Akira Ohtsuru, Takashi Akamizu, Masafumi Kitaoka, Shinichi Suzuki, Nobuyuki Taniguchi, Shunichi Yamashita & Noboru Takamura
AffiliationsContributionsCorresponding author
Scientific Reports 5, Article number: 9046 doi:10.1038/srep09046
Received 25 September 2014 Accepted 10 February 2015 Published 12 March 2015

We conducted ultrasound thyroid screening in cohort of 4,365 children aged between 3 to 18 years in three Japanese prefectures (Aomori, Yamanashi, and Nagasaki) using the same procedures as used in the Fukushima Health Survey. Forty-four children had nodules ≥ 5.1 mm in diameter or cysts ≥ 20.1 mm in diameter detected at the first screening, and 31 of these children underwent the second follow-up survey. We collected information from thyroid ultrasound examinations and final clinical diagnoses and re-categorized the thyroid findings after the second examination. Twenty children had nodules ≥ 5.1 mm in diameter or cysts ≥ 20.1 mm in diameter at the second examination; of these, one child was diagnosed with a thyroid papillary carcinoma and the remaining 19 children were diagnosed with possibly benign nodules such as adenomas, adenomatous nodules, and adenomatous goiters. A further 11 children were re-categorized as “no further examinations were required.” Our results suggest that ultrasound thyroid findings in children may change with a relatively short-term passing period, and that thyroid cancer may exist at a very low but certain frequency in the general childhood population.