A systematic review of the diagnosis and treatment of primary hyperparathyroidism from 1995 to 2003

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2005 Mar;132(3):359-72. doi: 10.1016/j.otohns.2004.10.005.


Objective: To systematically review the current preoperative diagnostic modalities, surgical treatments, and glandular pathologies associated with primary hyperparathyroidism.

Study design: A systematic literature review.

Results: Of the 20,225 cases of primary hyperparathyroidism reported, solitary adenomas (SA), multiple gland hyperplasia disease (MGHD), double adenomas (DA), and parathyroid carcinomas (CAR) occurred in 88.90%, 5.74%, 4.14%, and 0.74% of cases respectively. Tc 99m -sestamibi and ultrasound were 88.44% and 78.55% sensitive, respectively, for SA, 44.46% and 34.86% for MGHD, and 29.95% and 16.20% for DA, respectively. Postoperative normocalcemia was achieved in 96.66%, 95.25%, and 97.69% of patients offered minimally invasive radio-guided parathyroidectomy (MIRP), unilateral, and bilateral neck exploration (BNE). Intraoperative PTH assays (IOPTH) were helpful in approximately 60% of bilateral neck exploration conversion (BNEC) surgeries.

Conclusion: The overall prevalence of multiple gland disease (MGD and DA) was lower than often suggested by conventional wisdom. Furthermore, preoperative imaging was less accurate than it is often perceived for accurately imaging MGD. MIRP and UNE were more successful in achieving normocalcemia than is typically quoted. IOPTH was a helpful but not "fool-proof" adjunct in parathyroid exploration surgery.

Significance: These results support a greater role for the treatment of primary hyperparathyroidism using less invasive approaches. EMB rating: B-3.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Hyperparathyroidism / diagnosis*
  • Hyperparathyroidism / surgery*