Despite remarkable progress in imaging modalities and surgical management, persistence or recurrence of primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) still occurs in 2.5-5% of cases of PHPT. The aim of this review is to expose the management of persistent and recurrent hyperparathyroidism. A literature search was performed on MEDLINE using the search terms "recurrent" or "persistent" and "hyperparathyroidism" within the past 10 years. We also searched the reference lists of articles identified by this search strategy and selected those we judged relevant. Before considering reoperation, the surgeon must confirm the diagnosis of PHPT. Then, the patient must be evaluated with new imaging modalities. A single adenoma is found in 68% of cases, multiglandular disease in 28%, and parathyroid carcinoma in 3%. Others causes (<1%) include parathyromatosis and graft recurrence. The surgeon must balance the benefits against the risks of a reoperation (permanent hypocalcemia and recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy). If surgery is necessary, a focused approach can be considered in cases of significant imaging foci, but in the case of multiglandular disease, a bilateral neck exploration could be necessary. Patients with multiple endocrine neoplasia syndromes are at high risk of recurrence and should be managed regarding their hereditary pathology. The cure rate of persistent-PHPT or recurrent-PHPT in expert centers is estimated from 93 to 97%. After confirming the diagnosis of PHPT, patients with persistent-PHPT and recurrent-PHPT should be managed in an expert center with all dedicated competencies.
Keywords: Persistent; Primary hyperparathyroidism; Recurrent; Surgery.