Atypical presentations of parathyroid gland pathology: A pictorial review

Eur J Radiol Open. 2019 Nov 8;6:320-329. doi: 10.1016/j.ejro.2019.10.001. eCollection 2019.


Primary hyperparathyroidism is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. It is in this day and age, an eminently treatable condition which relies heavily on preoperative imaging to localise enlarged parathyroid glands. The imaging appearances of parathyroid gland enlargement are varied; this paper seeks to address some of its more unusual manifestations with an emphasis on its atypical enhancement patterns, mimics and associations. An enlarged glands may also present as an 'incidentaloma' in head and neck imaging performed for entirely different indications, or as part of sporadic or familial syndrome. Radiologists are in a good position to expedite the relevant investigations and curative treatment, and knowledge of the spectrum of imaging appearances is crucial.

Keywords: Cystic parathyroid gland; Ectopic intrathyroidal parathyroid gland; Hyperparathyroidism jaw tumour syndrome; Non-Enhancing parathyroid glands; Parathyroid gland enlargement; Parathyroid gland haemorrhage.