Pediatric Thyroid Clinic

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The University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital pediatric thyroid clinic is the only specialized thyroid clinic in Iowa dedicated to the care of children with thyroid diseases. The thyroid, a small gland located at the front of the neck, has an enormously important job to do--especially for children and adolescents. The gland creates the hormones that help control metabolism, the growth and structure of bones and many other body functions.

Thyroid Conditions Treated

When the thyroid gland supplies too much or not enough of hormones needed in the body, it can lead to thyroid disease. Thyroid disease may interfere with a teen's physical development, because these hormones play in important role in the puberty process. Unlike adults, children and adolescents are still growing, so it is important they see someone with expertise in pediatric thyroid conditions.

Additionally, although rare, children and adolescents can also develop thyroid nodules (round growths inside the thyroid gland) or enlargement of the gland (goiter). These problems need to be evaluated by specialists, since the treatment is different for children and adolescents compared to adults.

Our team is specially trained to treat children and young adults with conditions such as:

  • Thyroid nodules
  • Differentiated thyroid cancer
  • Medullary thyroid cancer
  • Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 (MEN 2)
  • Goiter (enlarged thyroid gland)
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Graves' disease
  • Resistance to thyroid hormone
  • Other syndromes that have a high risk of developing thyroid cancer, such as Carney complex, PTEN hamartoma syndromes, familial adenomatous polyposis (including Gardner syncrome and Turcot syncrome) and Werner syndrome

More common disorders such as congenital hypothyroidism, primary hypothyroidism, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, and mild TSH elevation (subclinical hypothyroidism) are usually seen in the pediatric endocrinology clinic.

Team Approach

Our clinic includes a pediatric endocrinologist with experience in thyroid disorders, joined by a team of highly experienced endocrine surgeons and otolaryngologists, radiology experts, and pathologists. We are dedicated to providing excellent and individualized care for every child and adolescent with thyroid disorders.

Thyroid Treatments

Patients and families are an integral part of our care team, and we work with you to ensure you fully understand your diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment.

Our team follows established guidelines to care for children and adolescents with thyroid disease, and we have the resources needed to provide the best outcomes, including:

  • US-guided fine needle aspiration biopsy
  • Total thyroidectomy (removal of the thyroid gland) for thyroid cancer
  • Total thyroidectomy for Graves' disease
  • Medical treatment for Graves' disease
  • Diagnostic lobectomy (surgical removal of one side of the thyroid)
  • Treatment with radioactive iodine for thyroid cancer or Graves' disease
  • Dosimetry for metastatic thyroid cancer or multiple recurrences

Urgent Thyroid Issues

Children and adolescents with hyperthyroidism are considered to have endocrine emergencies. Contact us directly if your child has hyperthyroidism, a suspicious thyroid nodule (larger than 1 cm, or smaller with calcifications), or if you think your child needs to be seen urgently. Please call 1-319-356-3164 or email Dr. Liuska Pesce if your child has an urgent need.

Locations and Contact

  • UI Stead Family Children's Hospital
    2400 Colloton Pavilion
    200 Hawkins Drive
    Iowa City, Iowa 52242
    In House Directions: UI Stead Family Children's Hospital public elevator, Level 2
    • Monday through Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    • 1-855-543-2884 (855 KID AT UI)
    • 1-319-356-1616 (Emergency)

Other Team Members

Endocrine Surgery:

  • James Howe, MD
  • Geeta Lal, MD, MSC
  • Sonia Sugg, MD
  • Ronald Weigel, MD, PhD


  • Richard C. Allen, MD, PhD
  • Erin Shriver, MD


  • Monzer M Abu-Yousef, MBBCh, FACR, FAIUM, FSRU

Nuclear Medicine:

  • Michael M. Graham, MD, PhD
  • Yusuf Menda, MD