Thyroid Gland Gross Anatomy

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The thyroid sits near the front of the neck, lying against and around the front of the larynx and trachea. The thyroid cartilage and cricoid cartilage lie just above the gland, below the Adam's apple. The isthmus extends from the second to third rings of the trachea, with the uppermost part of the lobes extending to the thyroid cartilage, and the lowermost around the fourth to sixth tracheal rings. The thyroid gland is covered by a thin fibrous capsule, which has an inner and an outer layer. The outer layer is continuous with the pretracheal fascia, attaching the gland to the cricoid and thyroid cartilages, via a thickening of the fascia to form the posterior suspensory ligament of thyroid gland also known as Berry's ligament. This causes the thyroid to move up and down with swallowing. The inner layer extrudes into the gland and forms the septae that divides the thyroid tissue into microscopic lobules. Typically four parathyroid glands, two on each side, lie on each side between the two layers of the capsule, at the back of the thyroid lobes.