Influence of common clinical variables on intraoperative parathyroid hormone monitoring during surgery for primary hyperparathyroidism

J Endocrinol Invest. 2020 Sep;43(9):1205-1212. doi: 10.1007/s40618-020-01201-z. Epub 2020 Mar 2.


Background: Intraoperative monitoring of parathyroid hormone (IOPTH) is a reliable method of predicting the cure of primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT). The aim of this study is to assess whether common clinical variables (CCV) frequently encountered in patients with PHPT may affect the magnitude of PTH drop or the likelihood of patients meeting the intraoperative cure criterion.

Design: Patients who were surgically cured from PHPT caused by single gland disease (SGD) and had full IOPTH protocol (4 measurements) were stratified according to age, gland weight, renal function, vitamin D status and severity of hypercalcemia. The percentage of IOPTH drop and the frequency of patients who had true positive IOPTH test results were compared among groups.

Results: 762 patients had surgery for PHPT, of whom 746 were (98%) cured. Of these 746 patients, 511 who had SGD and a full IOPTH protocol were included in this study. The median IOPTH drop was significantly higher among younger patients, those with severe hypercalcaemia at 5, 10, 15 min after gland excision, giant glands (at 5-min only), patients with vitamin D deficiency (at 10, 15 min), and those with normal renal function (at 15 min only). The likelihood of the patients meeting the intraoperative cure criterion was not significantly affected among the groups except in patients with mild hypercalcaemia, who were significantly less likely to have 50% IOPTH drop than those with severe hypercalcaemia at all time points. The frequency of mildly hypercalcaemic patients who met cure criterion was significantly improved by extending measurement to 15 min.

Conclusions: IOPTH monitoring has the ability to mitigate the variability of IOPTH kinetics associated with most clinical variables. Mildly hypercalcemic patients in particular may benefit from waiting for 15-min measurement before any surgical decision is made.

Keywords: Intraoperative parathyroid hormone monitoring; Parathyroidectomy; Primary hyperparathyroidism.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma / complications
  • Adenoma / epidemiology
  • Adenoma / surgery
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biological Variation, Population
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypercalcemia / complications
  • Hypercalcemia / epidemiology
  • Hypercalcemia / surgery
  • Hyperparathyroidism, Primary / blood
  • Hyperparathyroidism, Primary / complications
  • Hyperparathyroidism, Primary / epidemiology
  • Hyperparathyroidism, Primary / surgery*
  • Kinetics
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monitoring, Intraoperative* / statistics & numerical data
  • Parathyroid Hormone / analysis
  • Parathyroid Hormone / blood*
  • Parathyroid Neoplasms / complications
  • Parathyroid Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Parathyroid Neoplasms / surgery
  • Parathyroidectomy* / statistics & numerical data
  • Retrospective Studies
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology
  • Vitamin D / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / complications
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / epidemiology
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / surgery


  • Parathyroid Hormone
  • Vitamin D