Obstructive lingual thyroid causing sleep apnea: A case report and review of the literature

Terrance W. Barnes, Kerry D. Olsen, Timothy I. Morgenthaler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Lingual thyroid has been reported to cause obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) only once in the literature. We present a case of a 49-year-old nonobese female with a 2-year history of progressive snoring, apneas, snort arousals, and daytime somnolence associated with the sensation of an 'enlarging tongue'. She was found to have severe OSA caused by a large lingual thyroid. While positive airway pressure therapy was not successful, surgical resection of the thyroid was curative. OSA caused by lingual thyroid and other oropharyngeal/parapharyngeal tumors are discussed. A careful oropharyngeal examination is important in evaluating patients with complaints of OSA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)605-607
Number of pages3
JournalSleep Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2004


  • Lingual thyroid
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Oropharyngeal tumors
  • Pharyngeal tumors
  • Thyroid abnormalities
  • Tongue neoplasms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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