Lingual tonsils

Last revised by Derek Smith on 3 Apr 2023

The lingual tonsils are aggregations of lymphoid follicles that mediate B- and T-cell lymphocytes, which serve a role in formulating the immune system. They are covered by stratified squamous nonkeratinized epithelium and contain deep crypts and mucosal glands. They form a part of the Waldeyer ring of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) of the oropharynx. Diseases arising here (e.g. tumors) are classified as oropharyngeal lesions for staging, rather than oral cavity for the anterior tongue.

  • posterior third of the dorsum of the tongue

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: lingual tonsils on CT neck (annotated)
    Drag here to reorder.