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June 1971

The Lingual Thyroid: Its Diagnosis and Treatment

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles
From the departments of surgery, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, and University of California, Irvine.

Arch Surg. 1971;102(6):582-585. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1971.01350060046013

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.