Ultrasound Identification of Normal Parathyroid Glands

OTO Open. 2021 Oct 25;5(4):2473974X211052857. doi: 10.1177/2473974X211052857. eCollection 2021 Oct-Dec.


Ultrasound has become indispensable for identification of thyroid and parathyroid pathology, but normal parathyroid glands have historically been considered too subtle to accurately detect. Inability to identify and protect parathyroid glands can result in hypoparathyroidism and hypocalcemia during thyroidectomy surgery as well as misinterpretation of central neck structures in the postoperative neck. Advances in ultrasound resolution have opened the door to novel applications for this technology. In this study, we report the first surgeon-performed ultrasound identification of normal parathyroid glands in a series of 6 patients, confirmed by parathyroid tissue aspirate or parathyroid autofluorescence. Recognition of normal parathyroid glands using ultrasound can be valuable for preventing postoperative hypoparathyroidism and in increasing the accuracy of postsurgical ultrasound surveillance.

Keywords: parathyroid; ultrasound.