Parathyroid glands

by Jason Wasserman MD PhD FRCPC
October 20, 2022

What are the parathyroid glands?

The parathyroid glands are small endocrine organs that produce parathyroid hormone. Most people have four parathyroid glands that are found in the front of the neck close to the much larger thyroid gland.

What types of cells are normally found in the parathyroid gland?

The parathyroid glands are made up of a combination of specialized cells called chief cells, oxyphil cells, and clear cells.

enlarged hypercellular parathyroid gland cells

What is the function of the parathyroid gland?

The parathyroid glands make parathyroid hormone (PTH) which is then released into the bloodstream. Parathyroid hormone is important because it helps control the amount of calcium in your blood. Calcium is needed to maintain strong bones and to help your nervous system, muscles, and digestive system function normally.

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