During a period of five months I had the opportunity to examine 1,056 thyroid glands immediately after removal at the Mayo Clinic. I was stimulated in the search for parathyroid glands in these cases by the recent articles of Terry1 and Millzner,2 and I found a surprisingly large number.
The parathyroid glands are derived from the third and fourth branchial clefts in close association with the thymus, in which development is complex and the subsequent migration of tissue marked. These factors greatly increase the possibility of accessory glands. Influenced by the development of the thymus, the occurrence of accessory parathyroid glands may be widespread over the neck and upper portion of the thorax. Schaper3 and Jeandelize3 each found masses of parathyroid tissue near the bifurcation of the common carotid artery in sheep. Meyer3 found parathyroids in the thoracic thymus in sheep; Askanazy3 in man,
WELLBROCK WLA. THE OCCURRENCE OF ACCESSORY PARATHYROID GLANDS. JAMA. 1929;92(22):1821–1822. doi:10.1001/jama.1929.02700480011005
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