Lingual thyroid gland with multinodular goiter

Case contributed by Dr Mostafa Mahmoud El Feky


Dysphagia, dyspnoea, hoarseness of voice.

Patient Data

Age: 30
Gender: Male

A well defined hyperdense lesion centred upon the base of the tongue with enhancement after contrast administration. It shows a few hypodense nodules. It is seen abutting the epiglottis. The mass encroaches upon the oropharyngeal airway which is relatively narrowed. It is seen surrounded by prominent small arteries and veins (seen within the epiglottis and ary-epiglottic folds). 

No evidence of other thyroid tissue at the anatomical site of the thyroid gland.

Case Discussion

Lingual thyroids occur due to the lack of normal caudal migration of the thyroid gland from foramen caecum down to its normal location anterior to the larynx and upper trachea.

Lingual thyroids represent 90% of ectopic thyroid glands. The majority of cases show absent thyroid tissue in the normal anatomical location.

It follows all imaging criteria of the normal thyroid gland and is susceptible to all known thyroid pathologies. However, about one-third of patients develop hypothyroidism.

PlayAdd to Share

Case information

rID: 51534
Published: 18th Mar 2017
Last edited: 16th Jul 2018
System: Head & Neck
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

Updating… Please wait.

Alert accept

Error Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

Alert accept Thank you for updating your details.