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Lingual thyroid  Go back to the list
This is a congenital malformation that occurs more commonly in women. This ectopic thyroid appears as a light pink, red or blue mass in the base of tongue. Small lesions are usually asymptomatic, while larger ones can cause bleeding or interfere with breathing and swallowing. Treatment depends on symptoms. Medical management involves suppressive therapy with exogenous thyroid hormone. Surgical intervention or radio iodine ablation is sometimes required in the symptomatic and those asymptomatic but with elevated thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels. Surgery should be planned cautiously and should not be done without scanning the neck for thyroid as in some individuals it might be the only thyroid tissue present.
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