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Clinical Problem Solving: Radiology
Aug 2012

Radiology Quiz Case 1: Diagnosis

Author Affiliations


Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2012;138(8):772. doi:10.1001/archotol.138.8.772

Diagnosis: Total ectopic lingual thyroid

Lingual thyroid is a rare clinical entity that occurs because of a congenital anomaly of thyroidal development and migration. The reported incidence ranges from 1:100 000 to 1:300 000, with a slight female predominance.1,2 The thyroid gland typically descends from the foramen cecum to its normal pretracheal position between weeks 3 and 7 of embryological development.3 The presence of the ectopic thyroid tissue has been reported along the thyroglossal tract of descent in other midline locations of the neck as well as in other rare sites such as the esophagus, trachea, mediastinum, heart, diaphragm, and parapharyngeal spaces.4 However, the lingual thyroid is the most common presentation of ectopic thyroid gland.2,5

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