Thyroid Status Examination

Learn about thyroid status examination. This request usually follows orbit examination of a patient with thyroid eye disease. The aim is to look for signs of hyperthyroidism and less commonly hypothyroidism.

The thyroid gland sits at the front of the neck and produces endocrine hormones into the bloodstream. Sometimes the gland can produce too much (hyperthyroid) or too little hormone (hypothyroid) which results in a patient needing treatment. There are certain signs and symptoms that the patient may present with and it is these that you are examining the patient for in this station.

In OSCEs this station may start in a number of ways. You may be given a history of a hyper- or hypothyroid patient, or you may be asked to examine the patient’s neck or thyroid gland. Either way you should approach the situation systematically and not jump straight into feeling the neck.