Discussion Author: Mark D Travis
Lingual thyroid is a rare abnormality caused by the failure of the thyroid gland to migrate from its embryologic site to its normal anterior position in the neck. Lingual thyroids typically appear at the foramen cecum (area immediately posterior to the â€śVâ€ť of the posterior papillae of the tongue) and may range in size from a few millimeters to several centimeters. In patients with grossly evident lingual thyroids, 70% will have no cervical thyroid tissue. Oftentimes, lingual thyroid tissue is more diffuse throughout the muscle of the tongue and forms no discrete mass. Lingual thyroid occurs primarily in females (80%). A significant number of these patients develop hypothyroidism, which makes diagnosis critical. Carcinoma of an isolated lingual thyroid gland is rare with less than 30 cases being reported in the literature.
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