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Ectopic thyroid tissue presenting as a cardiac mass


Steven Henderson ,

Victoria Infirmary, GB
About Steven
Department of Radiology
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Adam Din,

James Cook University Hospital, GB
About Adam
Department of Endocrine Surgery
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Wael Elsaify

James Cook University Hospital, LK
About Wael
Department of Endocrine Surgery
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Thyroid ectopia is a rare, congenital phenomenon. Ectopic thyroid tissue located within the heart is extremely rare, with less than 30 cases ever reported. We present one such case with, what we believe, is a unique presentation.

A 46 year old woman presented with chest pain. Echocardiogram demonstrated a right ventricular mass which was later excised and found to be thyroid tissue. Multiple investigations failed to demonstrate any further abnormality and a diagnosis of intra-cardiac thyroid ectopia was made.

A variety of embryological abnormalities can lead to thyroid ectopia and it is linked to several genetic mutations. Interruption of thyroid migration can lead to thyroid tissue being deposited anywhere along its path. Before the diagnosis of ectopia is made, however, thyroid malignancy must first be excluded. Other differential diagnoses include struma ovarii and malignant emboli. Although exceptionally rare, intra-cardiac thyroid ectopia should be considered for any unusual cardiac mass prior to invasive treatment or investigation.


Sri Lanka Journal of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism 2013; 3: 98-100

How to Cite: Henderson, S., Din, A. and Elsaify, W., 2014. Ectopic thyroid tissue presenting as a cardiac mass. Sri Lanka Journal of Diabetes Endocrinology and Metabolism, 3(2), pp.98–100. DOI:
Published on 20 Jan 2014.
Peer Reviewed


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