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Updated: Jan 27 2018

Tongue and Thyroid Development

  • Tongue Development
    • Anterior 2/3 of tongue
      • derived from 1st branchial arch
        • sensation: lingual branch of CN V3
        • taste: chorda tympani branch of CN VII
    • Posterior 1/3
      • derived from 3rd and 4th branchial arches
        • sensation and taste: CN IX
        • extreme posterior sensation and taste: CN X
    • Motor innervation
      • all muscles of tongue: CN XII except palatoglossus (CN X)
      • muscles of tongue are derived from myoblasts originating from the occipital somites
  • Thyroid Development
    • Thyroid diverticulum
      • develops from endodermal lining of foregut
      • appears from the midline of the floor of the primitive pharynx
      • descends into the neck maintaining a connection to the tongue through the thyroglossal duct
        • thyroglossal duct degenerates during development
          • may remain as pyramidal lobe of thyroid
          • foramen cecum: remnant of thyroglossal duct
    • Thyroglossal duct cyst
      • persistent thyroglossal duct forming a cyst in midline of neck near hyoid bone
        • other location is at base of tongue: lingual cyst
      • cyst moves during swallowing
    • Ectopic thyroid tissue
      • failure of migration downward can result in ectopic thyroid tissue forming anywhere along the thyroglossal duct's path
      • tongue is the most common site of ectopic thyroid tissue
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