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1. near the thyroid gland.
2. a parathyroid gland.
3. a preparation containing parathyroid hormone from animal parathyroid glands; used for diagnosis and treatment of hypoparathyroidism.
parathyroid glands four small endocrine bodies in the region of the thyroid gland; they contain two types of cells: chief cells and oxyphils. Chief cells are the major source of parathyroid hormone (PTH), the secretion of which is dependent on the serum calcium level. Through a closed-loop feedback mechanism a low serum calcium level stimulates secretion of PTH; conversely, a high serum calcium level inhibits its secretion. The essential role of PTH is maintenance of a normal serum calcium level in association with vitamin D and calcitonin. It does this by exerting its effects on bone, kidney, and gastrointestinal tract. In bone, it enhances bone resorption by increasing digestion of the bone matrix by osteoclasts, which produces calcium that gets released into the bloodstream. In the kidney, PTH increases the excretion of phosphate and the reabsorption of filtered calcium. In the intestine, it increases intestinal absorption of calcium. The parathyroid glands may be subject to either hyperparathyroidism or hypoparathyroidism.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.
parathyroid glandsFour, yellow, bean-shaped bodies, each about 0.5 cm long, lying behind the THYROID GLAND, usually embedded in its capsule. The parathyroids secrete a hormone, parathyroid hormone (parathormone or PTH), into the blood if the level of calcium in the blood drops. This hormone promotes the release of calcium from the bones, controls loss in the urine and increases absorption from the intestine, thus correcting the deficiency in the blood. Maintenance of accurate levels of blood calcium is more important, physiologically, than the strength of the bones. Secretion of abnormal quantities of PTH from a parathyroid tumour can lead to bone softening. Underaction of the parathyroids causes a dangerous drop in the blood calcium.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005
Sandström,Ivor V., swedish anatomist, 1852-1889.
Sandström bodies - Synonym(s): parathyroid glands
Medical Eponyms © Farlex 2012