Lingual thyroid: 35-year experience at a tertiary care referral center

Barbara G.Carranza Leon, Adina Turcu, Rebecca Bahn, Diana S. Dean

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective: Lingual thyroid (LT) results from a developmental abnormality due to failure of the thyroid gland to descend to its pretracheal position. Given the low incidence of this disease, standardized management recommendations are lacking. We aimed to describe our institutions experience in LT management and to suggest a practice algorithm. Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of LT diagnosed at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, between1976 and 2010. Demographics, clinical presentation, laboratory data, treatment received, and outcomes were collected. Results: We identified 29 patients with LT. Eighty-three percent were female; age at diagnosis ranged from 2 weeks to 68 years. Almost one-third of patients were symptomatic, with the most common symptoms being cough and hoarseness. The diagnosis of LT was incidental in 9 patients (31%). Seventy-two percent of patients developed hypothyroidism. Levothyroxine was the treatment of choice, followed by thyroidectomy. Two asymptomatic euthyroid patients were followed without any intervention. Conclusion: Management of patients with LT should be individualized and guided by the patients symptoms and thyroid hormone status. (Endocr Pract. 2016;22:343-349)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)343-349
Number of pages7
JournalEndocrine Practice
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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