Intraoperative parathyroid hormone measurement during minimally invasive parathyroidectomy: does it "value-add" to decision-making?

J Am Coll Surg. 2006 Jul;203(1):1-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2006.03.022. Epub 2006 May 30.


Background: Routine use of intraoperative parathyroid hormone levels (IOPTH) during minimally invasive parathyroidectomy (MIP) has been challenged simply because the test works best when needed least, ie, once a solitary adenoma has been resected, and is less accurate with multiple gland disease. It has also been shown not to be cost-effective. The aim of this study was to determine if IOPTH "value-added" to decision-making during MIP.

Study design: The study group comprised 100 consecutive patients with sporadic hyperparathyroidism and an unequivocally positive sestamibi scan who were undergoing MIP in our unit from June 2004 until October 2005, from whom blood was collected for parathyroid hormone measurement preoperatively, preexcision, and at 10 and 30 minutes postremoval. No action was taken on the results of the test.

Results: Ninety-eight patients were cured by MIP alone. Two patients had persistent hyperparathyroidism, one of whom was cured with subsequent open reexploration and removal of a second adenoma, and the other remains hypercalcemic despite additional open neck exploration. IOPTH in both patients failed to fall in retrospect, only the first would have been cured by conversion at the time of operation. The value-added accuracy of IOPTH was really only 1%. In an additional nine patients, IOPTH at 10 minutes had failed to fall by > 50% from the highest level, those patients (9%) would have been subjected to an unnecessary conversion on the basis of a false-negative result.

Conclusions: IOPTH does not substantially value-add to decision-making during MIP. Most patients will be cured with appropriate selection for MIP based on preoperative localization studies.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cohort Studies
  • Decision Making
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperparathyroidism / blood*
  • Hyperparathyroidism / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures
  • Monitoring, Intraoperative*
  • Parathyroid Hormone / blood*
  • Parathyroidectomy*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Parathyroid Hormone