Ectopic thyroid tissue remains a rare developmental abnormality involving defective or aberrant embryogenesis of the thyroid gland during its passage from the floor of the primitive foregut to its usual final position in pre-tracheal region of the neck. Its specific prevalence accounts about 1 case per 100.000–300.000 persons and one in 4.000–8.000 patients with thyroid disease show this condition. The cause of this defect is not fully known. Despite genetic factors have been associated with thyroid gland morphogenesis and differentiation, just recently some mutation has been associated with human thyroid ectopy. Lingual region in the most common site of thyroid ectopy but ectopic thyroid tissue were found in other head and neck locations. Nevertheless, aberrant ectopic thyroid tissue has been found in other places distant from the neck region. Ectopic tissue is affected by different pathological changes that occur in the normal eutopic thyroid. Patients may present insidiously or as an emergency. Diagnostic management of thyroid ectopy is performed by radionuclide thyroid imaging, ultrasonography, CT scan, MRI, biopsy and thyroid function tests. Asymptomatic euthyroid patients with ectopic thyroid do not usually require therapy but are kept under observation. For those with symptoms, treatment depends on size of the gland, nature of symptoms, thyroid function status and histological findings. Surgical excision is often required as treatment for this condition.
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