Thyroid ectopia: a case series

Aneesh Sugunan, Zahir S. Hussain, Kumaran Muthappan Palaniappan, Shikhil Puzhakkal, Althaf Ahmed, Kalyanapu Ramesh, Adarsh Raghavan, Sahithi Priya


Ectopic thyroid is a form of thyroid dysgenesis and is defined as the presence of thyroid tissue in an abnormal location. Its prevalence is about 1 per 1,00, 000-3,00,000 people, rising to 1 per 4,000-8,000 patients with thyroid diseases. The most common sites of ectopic thyroid are lingual (90%) and anterior neck (10%). They are usually diagnosed with hypothyroidism with a mass with, or without pressure symptoms in the 2nd or 3rd decade of life when there is increased demand of thyroid hormone. Presence of two ectopic foci of thyroid tissue simultaneously is rare, and very few such cases of dual thyroid ectopia have been reported. We present a case series of 3 ectopic thyroid with 3 different clinical presentation. The first case is a 19-year-old boy who presented with clinical and biochemical overt hypothyroidism and was discovered to have only a sublingual ectopic thyroid gland. The second case is a 16-year-old girl who presented with dysphagia and on evaluation was found to have a dual ectopic thyroid gland in the lingual and sub lingual region. The third case is a 28-year-old women who presented with a sub hyoid swelling which on evaluation was diagnosed as a dual ectopic thyroid in the lingual and sub lingual region.


Ectopic thyroid, Dual ectopic thyroid, Subclinical hypothyroidism, Thyroid dysgenesis

Full Text:



Noussios G, Anagnostis P, Goulis DG, Lappas D, Natsis K. Ectopic thyroid tissue: anatomical, clinical, and surgical implications of a rare entity. Eur J Endocrinol. 2011;165(3):375-82.

Di Benedetto V. Ectopic thyroid gland in the submandibular region simulating a thyroglossal duct cyst: a case report. J Pediatr Surg. 1997;32(12):1745-6.

Babazade F, Mortazavi H, Jalalian H, Shahvali E. Thyroid tissue as a submandibular mass: a case report. J Oral Sci. 2009;51(4):655-7.

Gopal RA, Acharya SV, Bandgar T, Menon PS, Marfatia H, Shah NS. Clinical profile of ectopic thyroid in Asian Indians: a single-center experience. Endocr Pract. 2009;15(4):322-5.

Yoon JS, Won KC, Cho IH, Lee JT, Lee HW. Clinical characteristics of ectopic thyroid in Korea. Thyroid. 2007;17(11):1117-21.

De Felice M, Di Lauro R. Thyroid development and its disorders: genetics and molecular mechanisms. Endocr Rev. 2004;25(5):722-46.

Sigua-Rodriguez EA, Rangel Goulart D, Asprino L, de Moraes Manzano AC. Conservative management for lingual thyroid ectopic. Case Rep Otolaryngol. 2015;2015:265207.

Kumar SS, Kumar DM, Thirunavukuarasu R. Lingual thyroid-conservative management or surgery? A case report. Indian J Surg. 2013;75(S1):118-9.

Hari CK, Brown MJ, Thompson I. Tall cell variant of papillary carcinoma arising from ectopic thyroid tissue in the trachea. J Laryngol Otol. 1999;113(2):183-5.

Aguirre A, de la Piedra M, Ruiz R, Portilla J. Ectopic thyroid tissue in the submandibular region. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol. 1991;71(1):73-6.

Choi JY, Kim JH. A case of an ectopic thyroid gland at the lateral neck masquerading as a metastatic papillary thyroid carcinoma. J Korean Med Sci. 2008 Jun;23(3):548-50.

Zhao Y, Pu G, Li Q, Wu M. Ectopic thyroid gland in the mandible: a case report and review. J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2012;70(2):363-6.

Sarin YK, Sharma AK. Ectopic tonsillar thyroid. Indian Pediatr. 1993;30(12):1461-2.

Rubenfeld S, Joseph UA, Schwartz MR, Weber SC, Jhingran SG. Ectopic thyroid in the right carotid triangle. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1988;114(8):913-5.

Tiberti A, Damato B, Hiscott P, Vora J. Iris ectopic thyroid tissue: report of a case. Arch Ophthalmol. 2006 Oct;124(10):1497-500.

Malone Q, Conn J, Gonzales M, Kaye A, Coleman P. Ectopic pituitary fossa thyroid tissue. J Clin Neurosci. 1997;4(3):360-3.

Roth LM, Miller AW 3rd, Talerman A. Typical thyroid-type carcinoma arising in struma ovarii: a report of 4 cases and review of the literature. Int J Gynecol Pathol. 2008;27(4):496-506.

Elprana D, Manni JJ, Smals AG. Lingual thyroid. Case report and review of the literature. ORL J Otorhinolaryngol Relat Spec. 1984;46(3):147-52.

Turri-Zanoni M, Battaglia P, Castelnuovo P. Thyroglossal Duct Cyst at the Base of Tongue: The Emerging Role of Transoral Endoscopic-Assisted Surgery. J Craniofac Surg. 2018;29(2):469-70.

Naik K. Redefining anatomy in a case of midline subhyoid ectopic thyroid. Indian J Surg. 2014;76(4):333-5.

Jakibchuk K, Ali S, Samantray J. Recurrence of Graves' disease in ectopic thyroid tissue. BMJ Case Rep. 2018 Jan 23;2018:2017221566.

Massine RE, Durning SJ, Koroscil TM. Lingual thyroid carcinoma: a case report and review of the literature. Thyroid. 2001;11(12):1191-6.

Di Benedetto V. Ectopic thyroid gland in the submandibular region simulating a thyroglossal duct cyst: a case report. J Pediatr Surg. 1997;32(12):1745-6.

Hickman W. Congenital tumour of the base of the tongue pressing down the epiglottis on the larynx and causing death suffocation sixteen hours after birth. Trans Pathol Soc Lond. 1869;20:160-1.

Narendran TC, Kashyap AR, Prasanth RR, Musthafa M, Suryakiran Y. Dual ectopic thyroid: lingual with infrahyoid thyroid ectopia: an occasional occurrence. J Evolution Med Dent Sci. 2016;5(43):2718-9.