|dc.description.abstract||The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped endocrine organ located below and anterior to the larynx, at the base of the neck. It consists of two bulky lateral lobes connected by a thin isthmus. The thyroid gland produces, stores and releases hormones that control metabolism. These hormones include Triiodothyronine (T3) and Thyroxine (T4). T3 and T4 hormones regulate vital body functions including: breathing, heart rate, muscle strength, body temperature and body weight.
Functional abnormalities with specific endocrine glands have been reported by several investigators in association with Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).7, 10, 21 The most common thyroid abnormalities in these patients include euthyroid sick syndrome and hypothyroidism.22 However, there is very scanty literature regarding the histology appearance of the thyroid gland in patients with HIV and AIDS, especially in Sub Saharan Africa. It is therefore postulated that the thyroid gland would be involved in AIDS patients as evidenced by functional abnormalities.
This study is the first retrospective report to describe the appearance of the thyroid gland in HIV infected patients in Zambia. It is a nested sub study within the Zambia HIV Neuro-AIDS study (Sub type C Neuro-AIDS and pathogenesis in Zambia) that was set up to investigate the effects of HIV on the brain at autopsy.||en