Parathyroid Histology

  • Lori A. Erickson
Part of the Atlas of Anatomic Pathology book series (AAP)


Parathyroid glands are derived from the endodermal third and fourth branchial pouches and are involved in the regulation of serum calcium and bone metabolism. Calcium-sensing receptors on the surface of parathyroid cells sense serum calcium levels. When serum calcium levels are low, parathyroid hormone (PTH) is secreted. Most individuals have four parathyroid glands, but 5–13 % have five or more and 2 % have fewer than four parathyroid glands. Normal parathyroid glands measure 3–6 mm in length, 2–4 mm in width, and 0.5–2 mm in thickness. Normal parathyroid glands each weigh 20–40 mg; those weighing more than 50–60 mg usually are abnormal. Parathyroid glands are composed of parathyroid parenchymal cells and adipocytes. Stromal fat constitutes 10–30 % of normal parathyroid glands


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lori A. Erickson
    • 1
  1. 1.Mayo Clinic College of MedicineRochesterUSA

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