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parathyroid glands

Monday 10 September 2007


The parathyroid glands are named for their proximity to the thyroid but serve a completely different role than the thyroid gland.

The parathyroid glands are quite easily recognizable from the thyroid as they have densely packed cells, in contrast with the follicular structure of the thyroid.

Several types of cells are present in the parathyroid gland:
- chief cells
- They synthesize and release parathyroid hormone (PTH).

  • These cells are small, and appear dark when loaded with parathyroid hormone, and clear when the hormone has been secreted, or in their resting state.

- oxyphil cells

  • They are lighter in appearance and increase in number with age, have an unknown function.

- water-clear cells
- transitional cells




- malformations
- parathyroid anomalies

- parathyroid lesions
- parathyroid diseases

- parathyroid tumors


- Histology of the parathyroid gland (by Washington Deceit)

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See also

- endocrine system