Researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, and colleagues investigated the frequency of occurrence of dual thyroid ectopy in patients presenting with ectopic thyroid. They reported their findings at Triological Society 2013, held April 2013 in Orlando.
They searched surgical records from 1994 to 2012 at three tertiary academic referral centers to identify patients undergoing or scheduled for ectopic thyroid excision. Medical records and radiographic studies were reviewed by two independent reviewers. According to the researchers, they found that, during the study period, 10 patients were identified for surgical excision of ectopic thyroids. Dual foci of ectopic thyroid tissue occurred in four patients (40%). Demographic analysis revealed that all patients with dual ectopy were female with an average age of 47 years (range 28-52). Ectopic tissue was located at the base of the tongue and anterior to the hyoid in all cases. No patients had an orthotopic gland. Dual thyroid ectopy was found in two patients at the time of diagnosis, and two had a history of thyroglossal duct excision representing a second focus of thyroid dysgenesis.
“A higher prevalence of dual thyroid ectopy was identified in our patient population than previously described in the literature,” the researchers concluded. “This highlights the importance of a thorough investigation for additional foci when evaluating a patient with an ectopic thyroid.”