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Definition of Parathyroid gland

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Parathyroid gland: A gland that regulates calcium, located behind the thyroid gland in the neck. The parathyroid gland secretes a hormone called parathormone (or parathyrin) that is critical to calcium and phosphorus metabolism. Although the number of parathyroid glands can vary, most people have four, one above the other on each side. They are plastered against the back of the thyroid and therefore at risk for being accidentally removed during thyroidectomy.

Illustration of the Parathyroid Glands

QUESTION

Where is the thyroid gland located? See Answer
Reviewed on 12/12/2018

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