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Revision as of 20:03, 11 March 2019 by PD Dr. med. Johannes W. Dietrich (Talk | contribs)

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Synonyms: Thyroidea, Glandula thyreoidea, Glandula thyroidea
German: de:Schilddrüse

1 Definition

The thyroid gland is the body's largest specialised endocrine gland. By producing several thyroid hormones (e.g. thyroxine (T4), triiodothyronine (T3) and calcitonin it plays a fundamental role for development and metabolism.

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2 Embryology

In the embryonal period, the thyroid develops from the epithelium of the second branchial arch. At the beginning of ontogeny, it is connected via the thyroglossal duct to the base of the mouth. Later it descends to attain its final position caudal and ventral of the thyroid cartilage.

3 Anatomy

The thyroid consists of two lobes, which are in humans connected with the thyroid's isthmus.

4 Physiology

The thyroid produces different classes of thyroid hormones, which include iodine-containing iodothyronines (e.g. T3, T4 and 3,5-T2), iodothyroacetates and thyronamines (all of them significantly impacting the metabolism) as well as the peptide hormone calcitonin (a minor regulator of calcium homeostasis).

Production and release of thyroid hormones is controlled by multiple feedback control systems, where thyrotropin (TSH), a glycoprotein hormone produced by the pituitary gland, is the main regulator of thyroid function.

5 Diseases

Diseases of the thyroid include functional, neoplastic and inflammatory diseases.

Insufficient concentrations of iodothyronines (e.g. due to deficient production) are referred to as hypothyroidism, excessive concentrations as thyrotoxicosis. The term hyperthyroidism applies to thyrotoxicosis caused by overproduction of hormones in the thyroid.

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