Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Giant Cell Thyroiditis Anatomy

To better understand De Quervain's thyroiditis, it helps to understand the anatomy of the thyroid gland.

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped organ located in the neck, next to the Adam's apple.

The thyroid gland is responsible for regulating the body's metabolism. The thyroid gland produces thyroid hormones, which stimulate metabolism. Thyroid hormones are normally present in the bloodstream in tiny quantities. Too much thyroid hormone in the bloodstream is called hyperthyroidism. When there is too little, the condition is referred to as hypothyroidism.

Inflammation or over-activity of the thyroid gland can cause swelling or goiter.

Last Updated: Jun 1, 2009 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Giant Cell Thyroiditis References
  1. Kramer AB, Roozendaal C, Dullaart RP. Familial occurrence of subacute thyroiditis associated with human leukocyte antigen-B35. Thyroid. 2004 Jul;14(7):544-7. [15307945]
  2. Lazarus JH. Thyroid disorders associated with pregnancy: etiology, diagnosis, and management. Treat Endocrinol. 2005;4(1):31-41. [15649099]
  3. Papi G, Ezzat S. Progression of subacute (de Quervain's) thyroiditis into Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Thyroid. 2004 Jun;14(6):477-8. [15242580]
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