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Year : 2005  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 245-249

Clinical features of goitres on the Nigerian Plateau

College of Medicine of the University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
E Chuhwak
College of Medicine of the University of Lagos, Lagos
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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To describe the prevalence, clinical types and aetiology of goitre among hospital patients on the Nigeria highland area of Plateau. Subjects, materials and methodology: Adult out-patients attending the medical, surgical and general outpatient clinics of the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) were prospectively examined for the presence of goitre. Goitrous patients were subjected to further evaluation. Goitre was graded according to the WHO (1979) criteria (grades 0 - 4) and characterised as to lobarity, nodularity, consistency, tenderness, mobility of overlying skin and presence of bruit as well as hormonal functional status.RESULTS: 3,000 outpatients were examined, 124 (4.1%) of which were goitrous. Of the goitrous patients 98 (84F, 14M) had full data to be eligible for further analysis. The goitrous patients were distributed according to goitre grade as follows: grade one 10 (10.2%), grade two 62 (63.3%), grade three 22 (22.5%) and grade four 4 (4.1%). Both right and left lobes were enlarged in 91 (92.9%) subjects. Enlargement was limited to the right lobe in one patient with 3 (3.1%) patients each showing goitre limited to the left lobe and the isthmus. Palpably nodular goitre was found in 21 (21.4%) patients while the large majority of 78.6% showed a diffuse enlargement. The goitre was firm in 55% of cases and soft in 27.5% of patients. Goitre was associated with thyrotoxicosis in 10 (10.2%) patients, carcinoma in 2(2.1%), thyroid cyst in 2(2.1%) and thyroiditis in 6(6.1%) patients. CONCLUSION: Goitre is common among out-patients on the Nigerian plateau, with a characteristic female preponderance. WHO grade 2 goitre is the most common form. Thyrotoxicosis is relatively common among the goitrous patients. Patients attending hospital in goitre-endemic areas should be routinely examined for thyroid enlargement and those found goitrous subjected to endocrine evaluation.

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