Relationship between Semi-Quantitative Thyroid Palpation and Total Thyroxine Concentration in Cats with and without Hyperthyroidism

Norsworthy G.D., Adams V.J., Mcelhaney M.R., et al.

J Feline Med Surg, 2002. 4(3): p.139-43.


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.