Background: Thyroid disease and hyperparathyroidism are the most common endocrine disorders. The incidence of thyroid disease in patients with hyperparathyroidism ranges in the different series from 17 to 84%, and thyroid cancer occurs with an incidence ranging from 2 to 15%.
Aim: The aim of our study was to analyze the management of elderly patients with concomitant thyroid and parathyroid disease in order to define the best surgical therapeutic strategy and avoid reoperations associated with a higher risk of complications.
Methods: All consecutive patients (64 patients, age range 60-75 years), undergoing surgery for hyperparathyroidism, from January 2011 to June 2014, were retrospectively evaluated. Enrolled patients were divided into two study groups of patients affected by hyperparathyroidism with or without a concomitant thyroid disease.
Results: Out of 64 patients enrolled in our study (24 men, age range 60-75 years), affected by hyperparathyroidism, 34 had an associated thyroid disease and were treated with total thyroidectomy and parathyroidectomy. The group, who underwent parathyroidectomy associated with thyroidectomy, had no greater complications than the group receiving only parathyroidectomy.
Conclusions: Thyroid disease must be excluded in patients affected by hyperparathyroidism. It is difficult to determine whether hyperparathyroidism can be considered a risk factor for thyroid disease, but an accurate preoperative study is essential for a surgery able to treat both thyroid and parathyroid disease. In this way, we avoid the elderly patient, with associated morbidity and increased surgical risk, to undergo a reoperation for thyroid disease, burdened with major complications.
Keywords: Hyperparathyroidism; Parathyroidectomy; Thyroid disease; Thyroidectomy.