The Thyroid Program at Boston Children's Hospital is one of the only centers in the United States exclusively devoted to the care and treatment of children with thyroid diseases. Our program's Thyroid Nodule Clinic is one of the largest pediatric practices of its type in the United States.
Here at the Thyroid Program, we offer clinical evaluation and treatment for infants, children and adolescents with all types of thyroid disease, including:
- hyperthyroidism (overactivity of the thyroid gland)
- hypothyroidism (underactivity of the thyroid gland)
- thyroid nodules
- thyroid cancer
Innovative treatment and care
While thyroid disorders can profoundly disrupt a child’s health and development, highly effective treatments are available. Our program is distinguished by our expertise in:
- thyroid ultrasonography, a diagnostic tool that helps doctors determine the size and number of thyroid nodules.
- ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration, which are very safe, minor surgical procedures. Often, a major surgical biopsy can be avoided by performing a needle aspiration biopsy instead. Children’s physicians Stephen Huang, MD, and Jessica Smith, MD, have performed more than 190 of these procedures in children.
- radioiodine therapyfor hyperthyroidism and thyroid cancer. This therapy—given either in a capsule or in a tasteless solution in water—makes use of the thyroid gland’s natural need for iodine to slow thyroid production.
A team approach to managing thyroid disorders
Depending on your child’s particular needs, we draw on resources outside of the Thyroid Center, collaborating with radiologists, surgeons, oncologists and pathologists to deliver multidisciplinary care. Our program also offers a nursing staff and clinic coordinator to work closely with your family. And because most pediatric thyroid disorders are life-long, we also work closely with Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to provide care that extends through adulthood.
Innovative research improves care
In addition to providing treatment for our patients, the Thyroid Program conducts basic and clinical research aimed at improving the care of children with thyroid disease. Ongoing clinical projects include investigations of childhood thyroid cancer and glandular dysfunction.