Jacobs Journal of Anatomy and Physiology

Prevalence of Dual Thyroid Ectopy in a Surgical Patient Population

Published on: 2015-07-24


Objectives: Dual ectopic thyroids are considered rare events previously reported to occur in 9% of patients with ectopic thyroids. The objective of this study is to report an observed elevated prevalence of dual thyroid ectopy detected in patients presenting for surgical treatment of ectopic thyroids. Study Design: Retrospective case series. Methods: Surgical records at three tertiary academic referral centers were searched to identify patients undergoing ectopic thyroid excision from 1994 - 2012. Medical records and radiographic studies were reviewed by two independent reviewers. Results: During the study period, 10 patients underwent surgical excision of ectopic thyroid tissue. Dual foci of ectopic thyroid tissue were identified in 4 patients. In all cases, one focus of ectopic tissue was lingual in location and the second focus was infrahyoid. No patients had an orthotopic gland. Conclusions: A high prevalence of dual thyroid ectopy was detected in our patient population likely secondary to the use of comprehensive imaging studies in all patients. This suggests that a thorough evaluation of patients with ectopic thyroid tissue may identify additional occult foci.


Ectopic Thyroid, Dual Ectopic Thyroid, Multifocal Ectopic Thyroid, Lingual Thyroid