Primary hyperparathyroidism

Oncologist. 2007 Jun;12(6):644-53. doi: 10.1634/theoncologist.12-6-644.


Primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) is classically thought of as the somatic manifestation of hypercalcemia in which patients suffer from a variety of complaints including abdominal pain, nephrolithiasis, osteopenia, and mental status changes. Contemporary PHPT patients are generally free of somatic manifestations and are most often diagnosed when routine biochemical testing shows an elevated serum calcium level. The modern day patient may present with much more subtle neurocognitive symptoms including fatigue, lethargy, muscle weakness, depression, and cognitive impairment. Advances in imaging technology, intraoperative parathyroid hormone measurement, and surgical technique now allow parathyroidectomy to be performed using a focused approach without the absolute need of a four-gland exploration. Minimally invasive techniques allow the procedure to be accomplished under local anesthesia on an outpatient basis. This brief review summarizes the presentation, biochemical evaluation, operative intervention, and follow-up care of the modern day PHPT patient.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Calcium / urine
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperparathyroidism, Primary / diagnosis*
  • Hyperparathyroidism, Primary / surgery*
  • Hyperparathyroidism, Primary / urine
  • Middle Aged
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Parathyroidectomy / methods
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Calcium