Toxic Adenoma

Toxic Adenoma

Toxic adenoma is a benign tumor in the thyroid gland that causes excessive production of thyroid hormones (hyperthyroidism). Toxic adenoma is the cause of around 3-5% of hyperthyroidism cases.

Toxic adenoma is one of the causes of hyperthyroidism, in addition to Graves' disease and Plummer's disease . Toxic adenoma is characterized by the presence of a single lump or tumor measuring around 2.5 cm in the thyroid gland.

Toxic adenoma can cause an increase in the production of thyroid hormones so there is a risk of causing thyrotoxicosis . Tumors in toxic adenoma are generally benign and rarely develop into cancer.

Causes of Toxic Adenoma

Toxic adenoma is caused by the growth of a benign tumor (adenoma) in the thyroid gland. The growth of this tumor makes the thyroid nodule become too active in producing thyroid hormones. As a result, the level of thyroid hormone in the body can increase causing symptoms of hyperthyroidism.

The cause of toxic adenoma is not known for certain. However, there are several factors that can increase the risk of toxic adenoma, namely:

  • Female sex
  • Aged more than 40 years
  • Having a history of goiter in the family
  • Ever or currently suffering from goiter

Symptoms of Toxic Adenoma

In general, toxic adenoma causes a lump in the neck and symptoms of hyperthyroidism . In addition, some other symptoms that can appear are:

  • A single lump or nodule on the front neck
  • Heart palpitations _
  • Excessive sweating
  • The skin feels more moist and warm
  • Tremors or shaking, especially in the hands
  • Irregular heartbeat ( arrhythmia )
  • Tired, weak, nervous, and restless
  • Muscle cramps
  • Weight loss drastically without change in appetite
  • Menstruation becomes irregular
  • Diarrhea

When should you go to the doctor?

Check with a doctor if a lump appears in the front of the neck or if you experience the symptoms mentioned above. Examination by a doctor should be done so that this condition can be dealt with immediately and complications can be prevented.

Go to the doctor immediately if the lump in the neck gets bigger, especially if it causes difficulty swallowing or breathing.

If you have been diagnosed with toxic adenoma, do routine check-ups so that the doctor knows the progress of your condition.

Diagnosis of Toxic Adenoma

To diagnose toxic adenoma, the doctor will ask about the complaints experienced by the patient, as well as the health history of the patient and his family. Next, the doctor will perform a thorough physical examination, including an examination of the head and neck to assess the lump.

The doctor will also advise the patient to undergo the following supporting examinations:

  • Thyroid function test, to determine the levels of thyroid hormones, namely triiodothyronine (T3), thyroxine (T4), and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH)
  • Thyroid antibody test, to determine the level of antibodies produced by the thyroid gland, namely TPO ( thyroid peroxidase antibodies ), Tg ( thyroglobulin antibodies ), and TSH ( thyroid-stimulating hormone ) receptors
  • Thyroid ultrasound , to detect lumps in the thyroid gland
  • Radioactive iodine level test, to evaluate the level of radioactive iodine absorbed by the thyroid gland in a certain period of time

Toxic adenoma can be characterized by low levels of TSH and TPO, as well as increased levels of T3 and T4.

Treatment of Toxic Adenoma

Toxic adenoma treatment aims to relieve symptoms and prevent complications. Treatment methods include:

Beta - blockers

Beta - blockers can be given to relieve the symptoms of hyperthyroidism, especially those related to the heart and nerves, such as heart palpitations or tremors. Sufferers of toxic adenoma are advised to take this medicine until the level of thyroid hormone in their body is normal.

Antithyroid drugs

Antithyroid drugs work to suppress the production of excessive thyroid hormones. This drug can be used to control long-term hyperthyroidism in children, teenagers, and pregnant women.

In adult men and women who are not pregnant, antithyroid drugs are commonly used as initial treatment before undergoing radioactive iodine therapy.

Radioactive iodine therapy

Radioactive iodine therapy aims to restore thyroid function by reducing the size of the tumor. In this therapy, the patient will be asked to drink radioactive iodine. This iodine will then be absorbed into the thyroid gland and work by damaging the overactive tissue.

Radioactive iodine therapy is considered effective because the results are better than the administration of antithyroid drugs and does not require hospitalization. However, this therapy should not be performed on pregnant women, nursing mothers, and children under 5 years of age.


Thyroidectomy is the removal of part or all of the thyroid gland. This treatment is usually performed on children with severe hyperthyroidism, pregnant women, patients who cannot undergo radioactive iodine therapy, and patients with heart disorders.

Although it can be controlled with a number of handling measures above, toxic adenoma is permanent. Therefore, continue to do routine check-ups with the doctor to monitor your condition during treatment.

Complications of Toxic Adenoma

There are several complications that can arise as a result of increased thyroid hormone levels in toxic adenoma, namely:

  • Heart failure
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Tachycardia
  • Osteoporosis
  • Thyroid crisis

In addition to the above conditions, sufferers can also experience difficulty breathing and swallowing due to enlargement of the thyroid gland.

Prevention of Toxic Adenoma

The exact cause of toxic adenoma is not yet known so the best way to prevent this condition is to avoid risk factors.

The best thing to do is to check yourself with a doctor regularly, especially if you have ever suffered from goiter or have a family history of goiter. In addition, you are also advised to meet your iodine intake .

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