Prevalence of kidney stones and vertebral fractures in primary hyperparathyroidism using imaging technology

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2015 Apr;100(4):1309-15. doi: 10.1210/jc.2014-3708. Epub 2015 Feb 3.


Context: The fourth International Workshop on the Management of Asymptomatic Primary Hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) has recently suggested that skeletal and renal imaging be routinely conducted. So far, no study has systematically assessed this issue.

Objective: The objective was to evaluate the prevalence of kidney stones (KS) and vertebral fractures (VFs) in a cohort of patients with PHPT utilizing noninvasive imaging technology.

Design: This was a prospective study evaluating patients consecutively diagnosed with PHPT in a single center over a 5-year period (2009-2013).

Setting: The setting was a referral center.

Patients: There were a total of 140 patients with PHPT (127 women [18 premenopausal and 109 postmenopausal] and 13 men; mean age, 63.2 ± 11 y).

Main outcomes measures: Main outcome measures were the prevalence of KS by abdominal ultrasound, osteoporosis by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) (lumbar spine, femoral neck, total hip, and distal 1/3 radius), and VFs by vertebral spine x-ray, with attention to those categorized as symptomatic or asymptomatic.

Results: Fifty-five percent of all subjects had KS by ultrasound, 62.9% had osteoporosis by T-score at any site, and 35.1% had VFs by x-ray. There was no difference in the incidence of VFs and densitometric osteoporosis between symptomatic and asymptomatic patients (VFs, 34.4 vs 34.7%; osteoporosis by DXA, 59.4 vs 65.8%), whereas more KS were detected in symptomatic (78%) than asymptomatic (35.5%). Twenty-two percent of patients classified as asymptomatic at baseline without osteoporosis by DXA were found to have KS and/or VFs.

Conclusions: Nephrolithiasis and VFs are common in asymptomatic subjects with PHPT. The results provide evidence in support of recent recommendations that a more proactive approach be taken to detect silent bone and stone disease in asymptomatic PHPT.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen / diagnostic imaging
  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Aged
  • Bone Density
  • Female
  • Femur Neck / diagnostic imaging
  • Hip / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Hyperparathyroidism, Primary / diagnostic imaging
  • Hyperparathyroidism, Primary / epidemiology*
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Kidney Calculi / diagnostic imaging
  • Kidney Calculi / epidemiology*
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / diagnostic imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Radius / diagnostic imaging
  • Spinal Fractures / diagnostic imaging
  • Spinal Fractures / epidemiology*
  • Ultrasonography