Six cases of lingual thyroid were discovered in five females and one male, ranging in age from 5 to 26 years. Four were noted during thyroglossal duct surgery, one because of a mass in the vallecula, and one incidentally found during a workup for possible hyperthyroidism. Only one patient was known to have a lingual thyroid preoperatively. Thyroid medication caused the regression of the lingual masses and no surgery was necessary for these. It is suggested that all midline neck masses be scanned preoperatively after administration of sodium iodide I 131, sodium iodide I 125, or sodium pertechnetate Tc 99m. The danger of radiation in infants is greatly diminished by using either sodium iodide I 125 or sodium pertechnetate Tc 99m. Once a solitary ectopic functioning thyroid mass is identified and there is no cervical thyroid tissue, the possibility of leaving this tissue should be seriously considered.
Katz AD, Zager WJ. The Lingual ThyroidIts Diagnosis and Treatment. Arch Surg. 1971;102(6):582-585. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1971.01350060046013