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Laryngoscope. 2007 Nov;117(11):1969-73.

Lingual thyroid carcinoma with nodal metastasis.

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Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, PA 17821, USA.



To discuss treatment options and surgical management of lingual thyroid carcinoma with cervical metastasis.


Lingual thyroid is relatively uncommon, and carcinoma of the lingual thyroid is extremely rare, with only 40 cases reported. We report a new case of a young female who presented with a cervical neck mass found to represent metastatic papillary thyroid carcinoma. Further workup revealed the patient's only thyroid tissue was located at the tongue base and was the site of the primary tumor. Management of lingual thyroid carcinoma and review of the literature is discussed.


A case report and review of the literature of lingual thyroid carcinoma.


A young female presented with a left neck mass diagnosed as metastatic papillary thyroid carcinoma. Review of the computed tomography scan of the neck revealed a tongue base mass, absence of an othotopic thyroid gland and bilateral cervical lymphandenopathy. Bilateral selective neck dissections with removal of the tongue base lesion confirmed the diagnosis of lingual thyroid carcinoma with multiple left cervical nodal metastases.


A case of lingual papillary thyroid carcinoma with cervical metastasis is reported. Treatment is best managed with surgical excision of all thyroid tissue followed by radioactive iodine ablation. Surgical approaches to the tongue base need to be considered based on the size of the lingual primary tumor and the need to address lymph node metastases gland. This is the first reported case in the literature of lingual papillary thyroid carcinoma presenting with cervical nodal metastasis in a female with absence of an orthotopic thyroid gland. This is also the first report to show that papillary and not follicular cell carcinoma is the predominating histopathology in lingual thyroid carcinoma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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