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What is a lingual thyroid?

Clinical Quiz Would you recognise this ectopic thyroid?

A lingual thyroid is a form of ectopic thyroid where the gland is anatomically in the wrong place. This is caused by a failure of the gland to descend into the neck during foetal development.


1. A lingual thyroid is five times more common in males than females.​​
True or false?

2. Because of its location, it will always cause symptoms.
True or false?

3. Possible symptoms include dysphagia, dysphonia and dyspnoea.
True or false?

4.Lingual thyroid tissue never produces thyroxine because of its poor blood supply.
True or false?

5.There are several varieties of ectopic thyroid ­­– lingual thyroid is the most prevalent.
True or false?


1. False: It is five to seven times more common in women.

2. False: In some cases, the condition can be completely asymptomatic.

3. True: In addition, it can cause upper airway obstruction, or even hemorrhage, at any time from infancy through to adulthood.

4. False: A lingual thyroid may be functional.

5. True: This accounts for 90% of ectopic thyroid tissue.

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