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Ectopic thyroid gland is a developmental anomaly that results from the arrest of thyroid tissue along its path of descent from the floor of mouth to the pre tracheal position in the lower neck. It is typically found along the thyroglossal duct with the base of the tongue being the most common site. Apart from mediastinal extension of goiter, the incidence of true intrathoracic ectopic thyroid tissue is rare. Presence of ectopic thyroid has been reported not only in the chest but also in the abdomen and pelvis. Pericardial and intracardiac locations are extremely uncommon and right ventricle location is predominant among the described cases. We describe a case of incidentally detected ectopic thyroid tissue in a rarer location—adjacent to the left atrium. The patient, who had undergone a nephrectomy for renal oncocytoma 5 years ago, presented with unintentional weight loss and left sided flank pain, prompting a workup to rule out abdominal malignancy. Findings on the computed tomography (CT) scan of the abdomen and pelvis prompted further investigation including a chest CT which showed a heterogeneously enhancing mass near the left atrium. Given its location, further radiological investigations played an important role in eliminating the differential diagnosis of paraganglioma. The mass was surgically resected and discovered to be a hyperplastic thyroid nodule on histologic examination.

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© 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of University of Washington. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license. (

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.