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Thyroid Function Tests: Procedure, Diagnostic Methods & Pricing 2023

Thyroid cancer ranks among the top 10 most common cancers. According to statistics from the Hong Kong Hospital Authority in 2018, there were 1,037 new cases of thyroid cancer. Therefore, both men and women should undergo regular thyroid function tests to detect any potential thyroid issues early on, which can greatly aid in treatment. So how can you detect if you have a thyroid problem? What are the thyroid function tests available on the market, and how much do they cost?
Author Bowtie Team
Date 2023-06-29
Updated on 2023-06-29
When should you undergo thyroid function tests?Who is at higher risk and should undergo thyroid function tests?How to do thyroid function tests at home?Thyroid function tests methods and check-up ItemsThyroid function tests pricingFAQs about Thyroid Function Tests

When should you undergo thyroid function tests?

If you experience any of the following signs, you should consider getting a thyroid function test:

  • Enlarged thyroid gland
  • Increased sensitivity to heat and sweating
  • Increased appetite
  • Abnormal weight gain/loss
  • Rapid heartbeat (palpitations)
  • Menstrual irregularities in women
  • Changes in personality or mood
  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing
  • Tremors in fingers

Who is at higher risk and should undergo thyroid function tests?

Thyroid diseases are quite common, including conditions like hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, thyroid nodules, and thyroid cancer. Hyperthyroidism is more prevalent in women between the ages of 20 and 40. Therefore, individuals with the following factors should consider undergoing examinations:

  • Those who have been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism
  • Individuals working under prolonged high-stress conditions
  • Those with abnormal thyroid function
  • Individuals who have had thyroid nodules in the past
  • Those with a family history of thyroid disorders and are considered high-risk

How to do thyroid function tests at home?

You can start by performing a simple self-examination to check for any abnormalities in your thyroid:

  1. Use your thumb and fingers to gently palpate the neck area to check for any swelling or enlargement of the thyroid gland.
  2. Stand in front of a mirror, tilt your head back, and swallow forcefully. Observe if there are any unusual protrusions near the Adam’s apple that move up and down with the movement of the windpipe.
  3. Use both hands to press and palpate the back of your neck from front to back or back to front. Check for symmetry and the presence of any hard lumps or tumors in the thyroid gland.

Based on these self-examination methods, you can determine the presence of any nodules, their size and shape, and whether there are any enlarged lymph nodes. The World Health Organization classifies thyroid enlargement into 4 levels:

Grade 0Not visible or palpable enlargement
Grade 1Grade 1A: Enlargement palpable but not visible
Grade 1B: Visible and palpable enlargement with neck widening
Grade 2Visible thyroid enlargement within the normal range for the neck
Grade 3Clearly visible thyroid enlargement from a distance

However, self-examination may not always be accurate. If you notice any abnormal swelling of the thyroid gland, it is important to carefully monitor changes in the lump and seek medical attention early for further evaluation and professional medical examination.

Thyroid function tests methods and check-up Items

There are 3 common methods for thyroid examination, suitable for different individuals:

Thyroid Blood Tests


A small amount of blood is drawn from the patient’s arm for preliminary examination.


To detect thyroid hormone and antibody markers, including thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), thyroxine (T4), free thyroxine (FT4), triiodothyronine (T3), free triiodothyronine (FT3), anti-thyroglobulin antibodies (TgAb), and thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPOAb).

Suitable for

Individuals diagnosed with hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, or those with abnormal thyroid function.

Thyroid Ultrasound


Uses ultrasound imaging to examine the thyroid gland.


To check for thyroid tumors, thyroid inflammation, neck masses, calcifications, and to assess the presence of enlarged lymph nodes in the neck.

Suitable for

Individuals working under prolonged high-stress conditions or with abnormal thyroid function.

Fine-Needle Aspiration Biopsy (FNAB)


Uses ultrasound for localization and a fine needle to extract cell samples from the nodule.


To distinguish between benign and malignant tumors, determine the nature of the tumor, and provide further diagnosis and treatment options.

Suitable for

Individuals with thyroid nodules or those at high risk due to a family history of thyroid disorders.

Thyroid function tests pricing

Hospital/ClinicCheck-up ItemsPricing
Hong Kong Sanatorium & HospitalBlood TestFrom HK$ 450
UltrasoundFrom HK$ 2,350
Gleneagles Hospital Hong KongBlood TestFrom HK$ 740
UltrasoundFrom HK$ 1,320
Hong Kong Adventist HospitalBlood TestFrom HK$ 540
UltrasoundFrom HK$ 1,550
Matilda International HospitalUltrasoundFrom HK$ 2,530
Hong Kong Baptist HospitalBlood TestFrom HK$ 420
UltrasoundFrom HK$ 1,020
Canossa HospitalUltrasoundFrom HK$1,870
Saint Teresa’s HospitalBlood TestFrom HK$ 950
Evangel HospitalBlood TestFrom HK$ 825
UltrasoundFrom HK$ 1,000
Precious Blood HospitalBlood TestFrom HK$ 720
UltrasoundFrom HK$ 1,020
Hong Kong Adventist Hospital – Tsuen WanBlood Test (T4)From HK$ 368
UltrasoundFrom HK$ 2,200
The Hong Kong Thyroid CentreBlood TestFrom HK$ 750
UltrasoundFrom HK$ 1,320
幼針穿刺活組織檢驗From HK$ 3,960
  • RemarksThe above mentioned fees are for reference only (updated as of January 27, 2023). For detailed information, please consult the relevant hospitals or clinics.

FAQs about Thyroid Function Tests

Which specialist should I see for thyroid function tests?

Thyroid-related diseases fall under the field of endocrinology and metabolism. Therefore, you should consult an endocrinologist for thyroid examinations.

What are the normal thyroid hormone levels?

Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) is a hormone that regulates thyroid function. Generally, the TSH level is inversely related to the level of thyroxine (T4) secretion, helping to balance abnormal T4 thyroid hormone production.

The normal range for TSH is typically between 0.5 and 5.0 mU/L, while the normal range for T4 is between 0.8 and 1.8 ng/dL. In general screening, it is recommended to measure the TSH level first. If it is high, further testing of TSH and T4 levels can be done to determine the condition.


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