Embryology and Anatomy

• Thyroid Gland: two pear-shaped lobes, isthmus (connect the left and right lobes), and a pyramidal lobe (may present as a superior extension of the embryological thyroid duct)

• each parathyroid weighs 20—40 mg, the normal thyroid gland weighs approximately 20 gms

• Superior Parathyroids: most commonly located in the posterolateral aspect of the superior pole, 1 cm above the intersection of the recurrent laryngeal nerve and the inferior thyroid artery

• Inferior Parathyroids: more variable location, most commonly located 1—2 cm from the entrance of the inferior thyroid artery into the lower thyroid pole (may also be associated with the superior thymus)

• Berry's ligament (lateral suspensory ligament): attaches thyroid lobes to the trachea

• C-cells (parafollicular cells): cells within thyroid gland that secrete calcitonin

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