International Journal of Head and Neck Surgery

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VOLUME 12 , ISSUE 1 ( January-March, 2021 ) > List of Articles


Ectopic Lingual Thyroid: A Case Presentation

Kanishka S Rao, Vijendra S Shenoy, Panduranga M Kamath, Anas Gomati

Keywords : Thyroid, Thyroid scintigraphy, Tongue base

Citation Information : Rao KS, Shenoy VS, Kamath PM, Gomati A. Ectopic Lingual Thyroid: A Case Presentation. Int J Head Neck Surg 2021; 12 (1):37-39.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10001-1422

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 31-03-2021

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2021; The Author(s).


Background: The lingual thyroid gland is a rare clinical entity that was found to occur due to the failure of the thyroid gland to descend into its normal ectopic pretracheal position during embryogenesis. The reported incidence of lingual thyroid is 1 in 100,000, and it is more common in females, with a female:male ratio of 3:1. When located at the base of the tongue, the ectopic gland is often asymptomatic but may cause local symptoms, such as, dysphagia, dysphonia, upper airway obstruction, hemorrhage, and often hypothyroidism. The diagnosis of lingual thyroid is usually made clinically and radionuclide scanning is used to confirm the diagnosis. A case of lingual thyroid is presented for its rarity and differential diagnosis of midline base of the tongue lesions. Case description: A 35-year-old woman presented with complaints of increasing difficulty in breathing and a constant foreign object sensation in the throat (FOSIT) for the past one year. Flexible video-laryngoscopic examination revealed a well-demarcated midline tongue base lesion measuring 3 × 3 cm. Technetium 99m scan reported it to be ectopic thyroid gland tissue. Transoral excision of the lesion was done along with cauterization with bipolar cautery. Conclusion: Lingual thyroid is a rare developmental anomaly, the treatment of which is still controversial in view of the rarity of the condition. It should be included in the differential diagnosis of midline masses of the base of the tongue, especially in children and adolescents. The approach to treatment should be transdisciplinary and should not only take into consideration the clinical condition of the lesion but also the hormonal aspects of the patient.

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