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The anatomical variance of the parathyroid glands has been described elsewhere in the literature. Textbook descriptions of the surgical anatomy cite the area approximately 1 cm superior to the intersection of the recurrent laryngeal nerve and the inferior thyroid artery as the most frequent site of the superior parathyroid glands.1 The most common location for the inferior parathyroid is typically cited as the area of the lower thyroid pole, upper thymus, or thyrothymic ligament. This description belies the more complex anatomical reality, and clinical experience has demonstrated that ectopic parathyroid glands remain a diagnostic and operative challenge in modern surgical practice.
Radiology Quiz Case 1: Diagnosis. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2007;133(6):616-617. doi:10.1001/archotol.133.6.616