Nodules have been reported to be present in 50% of thyroids in autopsy series.1 A minority of these thyroid nodules are palpable, leaving a broad opportunity for discovery of incidental thyroid nodules through imaging tests performed for other indications, including carotid ultrasound and chest computed tomography. Indeed, detection of asymptomatic thyroid nodules as incidental findings on radiological evaluations that include the neck has increased over the past 3 decades.2 Once detected, these thyroid nodules require additional evaluation.
Cappola AR, Mandel SJ. Improving the Long-term Management of Benign Thyroid Nodules. JAMA. 2015;313(9):903-904. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.0836