With the widespread use of sensitive imaging techniques, which include neck visualization, a conspicuous number of thyroid nodules emerge and demand attention. Most lesions are benign, asymptomatic, and do not warrant treatment. In the case of cancer diagnosis, most are small, intrathyroidal and indolent neoplasms that can safely be managed conservatively. There is a pronounced need for more cost-effective, risk-adapted approaches to the management of this highly prevalent condition, taking the wishes of the patient into consideration. Thus, the present guidelines aim at providing a clinical practice guide for the initial workup and the subsequent management of adult individuals harboring thyroid nodules. Importantly, these guidelines are not intended to cover the management of thyroid malignancy. The manuscript and the specific recommendations were developed by reconciling the best available research evidence with the knowledge and clinical experience of the panelists and updating aspects of a number of previous European Thyroid Association guidelines.
Keywords: fine-needle aspiration; follow-up; management; minimally invasive treatment; molecular biology; surgery; thyroid nodule; treatment; ultrasound.