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Ectopic submandibular thyroid tissue with a coexisting active and normally located thyroid gland: case report and review of literature.

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  • 1University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technical University of Dresden, Germany. kufeller@rcs.urz.tu-dresden.de

Abstract

Ectopic thyroid tissue in the submandibular space with the thyroid gland in its normal location is an extremely rare phenomenon. We present a case of a 75-year-old woman who had painless swelling in the left submandibular space and was referred to our hospital with the suspicion of having a malignant tumor originating from the submandibular gland. Histologic examination showed normal follicular thyroid tissue without any sign of malignancy. In general there are 3 explanations for the presence of ectopic thyroid tissue found in the submandibular region: (1) displacement during the course of embryonal development, (2) spread of tissue during surgery on a normally located thyroid gland, and (3) metastasis of a highly differentiated papillary thyroid carcinoma. We reviewed the literature with respect to the embryological background and the clinical management of such cases.

PMID:
11077386
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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