Anatomical variations of the thyroid gland: An experimental cadaveric study

Ali Al-Azzawi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: The thyroid gland displays numerous variations in its anatomy. Understanding the variations that occur can benefit diagnosis of thyroid disorders and improve management. The aim of this study was to investigate how factors such as age and sex may influence variations in the thyroid. Methods: Twenty cadavers (10 males & 10 females) with a mean age of 78 were dissected. Variations in anatomy and vasculature were examined. Correlation between age and thyroid size was tested for significance using GraphPad prism 7. Results: Most cadavers, 65%, had the superior thyroid artery originating from the external carotid artery, while 25% were from the bifurcation and 10% from the common carotid. The average weight for thyroids was 19.9 g in males and 13.9 g in females. A significant negative correlation was found between age and thyroid size Discussion: Thyroid gland variations, such as pyramidal lobes which affected 30% of cadavers, could impact medical interventions. Evidence from this study has confirmed the high incidence of such variations emphasising the requirement for preoperative imaging.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAnnals of Medicine and Surgery
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 5 Sept 2021
Externally publishedYes


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