Bone and primary hyperparathyroidism

Joint Bone Spine. 2022 Jan;89(1):105129. doi: 10.1016/j.jbspin.2021.105129. Epub 2021 Jan 20.


Primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) is a disease caused by excessive and inappropriate secretion of parathyroid hormone resulting in hypercalcemia. It is usually diagnosed incidentally in case of hypercalcemia, osteoporosis or, more rarely, renal involvement such as lithiasis. The clinical presentation reflects hypercalcemia and involves several organs, mainly the cardiovascular system, bone, and kidneys. However, most patients with PHPT are asymptomatic. The diagnosis is biological, obvious when serum calcium and parathyroid hormone levels are high, but difficult when one of these two values is normal. The diagnosis of normocalcemic PHPT is possible only after ruling out all causes of secondary hyperparathyroidism. Parathyroid imaging does not contribute to the positive diagnosis but guides surgery and rules out an associated thyroid abnormality. Parathyroid surgery is the gold standard treatment. Parathyroid surgery is indicated in the presence or risk of complications, and it is the only treatment that prevents fractures. Pharmaceutical treatments have only limited effects on complications and are limited to cases where surgery is contraindicated. After parathyroid surgery, the use of bisphosphonates must be avoided as they seem to interfere with the parathyroidectomy's fracture-preventing effects. In the absence of surgical indication, medical monitoring of patients includes assessment of laboratory values, bone density, and renal function.

Keywords: Hypercalcemia; Nephrolithiasis; Osteoporosis; Primary hyperparathyroidism; Vitamin D.

MeSH terms

  • Bone Density
  • Calcium
  • Humans
  • Hypercalcemia*
  • Hyperparathyroidism, Primary* / complications
  • Hyperparathyroidism, Primary* / diagnosis
  • Parathyroid Hormone


  • Parathyroid Hormone
  • Calcium