The differential diagnosis between lateral ectopic thyroid tissue with orthotopic normal gland and metastatic thyroid carcinoma is challenging. Lateral cervical site is a very rare location for ectopic tissue since only a few cases have been reported. The peculiarity of this clinical case is the finding of a thyroid carcinoma forty years after surgical resection of the ectopic thyroid lesion. This asynchronous association, never reported in literature, raises the question of the differential diagnosis between a true ectopic aberrant thyroid and an early lymph node metastasis from an occult thyroid carcinoma, evident in the primitive site many years later. Several elements, which will be matter of discussion, seem to favour the latter hypothesis.
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