JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Thyroid gland, artwork. The thyroid is a major endocrine gland situated at the front of the neck. The coloured area on the thyroid gland is a representation of a gamma scan (scintigram), a diagnostic technique used to study the functioning of the gland. In this technique, a radioactive tracer is introduced into the gland, and the activity of the gland is shown by how much of the tracer is taken up. This is used to look for disorders such as hypothyroidism (underproduction of thyroid hormones) and hyperthyroidism (overproduction). The trachea (windpipe) is seen at lower centre. Thyroid hormones regulate the metabolism and body calcium levels.
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