(99m)Tc-sestamibi scintigraphy and cell cycle in parathyroid glands of secondary hyperparathyroidism

World J Surg. 2000 Nov;24(11):1386-90. doi: 10.1007/s002680010229.


Double-phase parathyroid MIBI ((99m)Tc-sestamibi) was performed in 27 patients with secondary hyperparathyroidism (SPT). Focal areas of increased uptake were scored for intensity on a three-point scale. All patients underwent subtotal parathyroidectomy (SPTx), and a total of 78 glands were removed at operation. Blood was obtained from the jugular vein before and after SPTx to measure the parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels. The volume and weight of the glands were calculated. The tissue was divided, with one aliquot being used for cell cycle analysis. The nuclei were acquired by flow cytometry and analyzed using CELLEIT software. Cell viability was assessed by flow cytometry and analyzed with LYSIS II software. Positive MIBI uptake was observed in 88.8% of patients. Focal MIBI uptake of one, two, or three glands was observed in 6, 11, and 8 patients, respectively. All patients experienced an 86% decrease in PTH blood level after SPTx compared to that before excision. A correlation was found between the volume of glands and the blood levels of intact PTH (iPTH) (r = 0.5, p < 0.05). A positive correlation was observed between MIBI uptake and the iPTH levels before SPTx (p < 0.01) and between the uptake of MIBI in the parathyroid glands and the cell cycle phases; low-grade uptake correlated with the G(0) phase and higher uptake with G(2)+S phase (r = 7, p < 0.01). No correlation was observed between MIBI uptake and the weight of the glands. MIBI scintigraphy accurately reflects the functional status of the hyperplastic parathyroid glands: Higher uptake grades correlated with the active growth phase. MIBI uptake does not reveal parathyroid enlargement; rather, it identifies the presence of hyperfunctioning autonomous glands. SPTx and total parathyroidectomy with autografting (TPTx+A) are the most widely accepted surgical approaches for patients with SPT. Reoperation for recurrence is necessary in 6% to 15% of cases. MIBI is now considered to be the radionuclide of reference for parathyroid gland scanning, although it is widely accepted that it produces poor results when trying to detect hyperplastic glands.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cell Cycle
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperparathyroidism, Secondary / diagnostic imaging*
  • Hyperparathyroidism, Secondary / physiopathology
  • Hyperparathyroidism, Secondary / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parathyroid Glands / cytology
  • Parathyroid Glands / diagnostic imaging*
  • Parathyroid Hormone / blood
  • Parathyroidectomy / methods*
  • Probability
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / pharmacokinetics*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Technetium Tc 99m Sestamibi / pharmacokinetics*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Uremia / diagnosis
  • Uremia / physiopathology


  • Parathyroid Hormone
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Technetium Tc 99m Sestamibi