Thyroid disease can roughly be divided into functional and anatomical disorders. Subclinical disease is by definition not accompanied by symptoms or signs and usually goes unrecognized for the bearer (and the observer). In this communication an overview will be given of existing literature and some own results concerning subclinical hypothyroidism, subclinical thyrotoxicosis and thyroid incidentalomas. Apart from definitions, data on prevalence, clinical effects, prognostic significance and the need for and response to therapy will be discussed.
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