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February 1967

Thyroid Carcinoma Arising in Thyroglossal Duct Remnants: Report of a Case and Review of the Literature

Author Affiliations

Brooklyn, NY
From the departments of surgery and pathology, Greenpoint Division, The Jewish Hospital of Brooklyn, and the Surgical Service of the State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn.

Arch Surg. 1967;94(2):235-239. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1967.01330080073019

MALIGNA tumors of thyroglossal duct remnants are rare. A review of the English literature reveals only 27 reported cases of thyroid carcinoma arising along the course of the thyroglossal duct and fewer of lingual thyroid origin. In addition, there are several reports of epidermoid carcinoma originating in the thyroglossal tract.1,2 Therefore, the incidence of malignancy of the thyroglossal tract is probably well below 1%

A brief review of the embryology of the thyroid gland explains the occurrence of the thyroid tissue in the thyroglossal tract. The thyroid gland forms at about the fourth week of embryonic life from a median diverticulum of the ventral pharyngeal wall at a position marked in adult life by the foramen cecum. As the thyroid gland moves downward, it forms behind it a duct lined by squamous, columnar, or transitional epithelium which passes through the tissue which later becomes the hyoid bone. Ordinarily, the