Ectopic Thyroid

  • Etiology: migration anomaly as thyroid gland migrates down from foramen cecum at the posterior aspect of the tongue to permanent location in infrahyoid neck
  • Imaging: thyroid is absent from its normal position in the neck, lingual at base of tongue (90%) / sublingual below the tongue / prelaryngeal / mediastinum (<1%), consider nuclear medicine scan to confirm

Cases of Ectopic Thyroid

Radiograph and nuclear medicine scan of ectopic thyroid
Lateral radiograph of the airway (left) shows a mass at the base of the tongue that when overlaid / registered with a thyroid nuclear medicine scan (right) shows radiotracer uptake in the mass.