The Effect of Aging on Human Thyroid Gland: (Anatomical and Histological Study)


Objectives: To study the effect of aging on human thyroid gland this was investigated anatomically and histologically.Methods: Twenty thyroid glands from twenty normal male cadavers were examined and divided into five groups each group includes four cadavers: Group (A) aged from 20-29 years, Group (B) from 30-39 years, Group (C) from 40-49 years, Group (D) from 50-59 years, Group (E) from 60-70 years.Results: Anatomically a negative correlation between process of aging, weight and length of thyroid lobes was found and the peak of weight and length of thyroid lobes present at group B. Histologically, the present study showed a significant negative correlation between age and number of thyroid follicles, follicular and parafollicular cells, while strong positive correlation was found between age and the number of squamous cells of follicular epithelial lining. The basement membrane, the thickness of interstitial tissue also showed a positive correlation with aging.Conclusions: The weight, length of thyroid gland decreased in approximately proportional level with age. Numbers of thyroid follicles, cuboidal and parafollicular cells are decreased with progressive increase of age. In contrast, the squamous cells are increased with aging process. Key words: thyroid gland, aging, anatomy of thyroid.