Anatomical variations of the thyroid gland: Possible surgical implications

Anu V. Ranade, R. Rai, M. M. Pai, S. R. Nayak, Prakash, A. Krisnamurthy, S. Narayana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: The organogenesis of the thyroid gland in humans is often disturbed, leading to a variety of morphological variations of the gland, such as hypoplasia, ectopy, hemiagenesis and agenesis. As the morphological variations are usually diagnosed incidentally during examination for other thyroid gland diseases, the true incidence is therefore uncertain. Methods: This study was structured to investigate the gross anatomical features of the thyroid gland in 105 (88 male and 17 female) cadavers from the coastal belt of southern India, an endemic goitre region. Results: The pyramidal lobe was present in 61 (58 percent) male cadavers, and 52 (49.5 percent) cadavers showed the presence of the levator glandulae thyroideae. 33 percent of the specimens studied showed agenesis of the isthmus. However, the accessory thyroid tissue was found in only one cadaver. Conclusion: This study highlights the various developmental anomalies of the thyroid gland, which forms a cornerstone to safe and effective surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)831-834
Number of pages4
JournalSingapore Medical Journal
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 10-2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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