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Graves' disease. Scintigram of a thyroid gland producing excess quantities of thyroid hormones (red), caused by the autoimmune disorder Graves' disease. The thyroid is an endocrine gland found in the neck, responsible for the production of hormones controlling the body's metabolism. The quantities of hormones produced are normally regulated by thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). When Graves' disease occurs, the patient's immune system over stimulates the thyroid gland, causing hyperthyroidism (increased thyroid function). Treatment involves radioactive iodine or surgical removal. Using the radioactive tracer iodine-123, a scintigram shows the activity of the thyroid gland.
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