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Anaesthesia. 2000 Nov;55(11):1103-5.

Lingual thyroid--a threat to the airway.

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Department of Anaesthetics, Royal Hampshire County Hospital, Winchester, Hampshire SO22 5DG, UK.


The occurrence of a thyroid gland superficially placed on the pharyngeal portion of the tongue is rare, but poses problems to the patient and anaesthetist. This report describes a patient with a lingual thyroid and a history of problems associated with it that resulted in admission to the ICU and warnings about future intubation of the larynx. The patient underwent awake tracheal intubation using a standard fibreoptic assisted technique, and was advised that she purchase an appropriate Medic-Alert bracelet.

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