Lingual Thyroid: 35-Year Experience at a Tertiary Care Referral Center

Barbara G. Carranza Leon, MD; Adina Turcu, MD; Rebecca Bahn, MD; Diana S. Dean, MD


Endocr Pract. 2016;22(3):343-349. 

In This Article


In summary, we have described the largest series of patients with LT. Figure 4 summarizes our general approach to patients with LT. We suggest that asymptomatic patients be managed conservatively. When obstructive symptoms occur, shrinkage of the tissue by suppressive thyroid hormone replacement can be initially attempted. If medical therapy is unsuccessful, not well tolerated, or if obstruction is imminent, surgery should be offered. If surgery is precluded by comorbidities or declined, RAI may be considered. When mechanical symptoms are present, management optimally involves a multidisciplinary team composed of an endocrinologist, endocrine surgeon, otorhinolaryngologist, and anesthesiologist. In each case, management should be customized to the patient's needs and therapeutic preferences.

Figure 4.

Suggested approach to patients with lingual thyroid. CI = contra-indications; CV = cardiovascular; RAI = radioactive iodine.