The thyroid is a gland that sits on the bottom of the front of the neck. It is shaped like a butterfly and it wraps around the trachea. The thyroid produces thyroid hormone, which is necessary for the proper functioning of every cell in the body.
The gland wraps around the windpipe (trachea) and has a shape that is similar to a butterfly formed by two wings (lobes) and attached by a middle part (isthmus). The thyroid gland works like a tiny factory that uses iodine (mostly from the diet in foods such as seafood and salt) to produce thyroid hormones.
Most thyroid pathology identified at the time of autopsy will be incidental to the cause of death. That said, it is still important to document, as some conditions may be familial, as described above. The following entities represent the most commonly encountered incidental autopsy findings. Solitary Nodules