Applicazioni cliniche del color-Doppler: le ghiandole paratiroidi.

Translated title of the contribution: Clinical applications of color-Doppler: the parathyroid glands

F. Calliada, G. Sala, M. P. Conti, G. Corsi, C. Oldini, O. Bottinelli, A. La Fianza, A. Sacchetta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The high-resolution appearance of enlarged parathyroid glands is well known. Thus, real-time gray-scale US alone fails to provide, in ENT surgery, adequate sensitivity and specificity rates to differentiate between parathyroid glands, hypoechoic thyroid adenomas and other hypoechoic neck masses. Since parathyroid tissue, in both normal and enlarged glands, is hypervascular, color-Doppler US is used as a sort of non-invasive angiography to identify parathyroid glands. The combined use of B-mode and color-Doppler US allows the vascular features of thyroid masses to be satisfactorily demonstrated, with easy differentiation between enlarged parathyroid glands, featuring diffuse internal vascularization, and thyroid adenomas characterized by rounded peripheral vessels and also lymph nodes and cysts exhibiting different vascular patterns. We studied 25 patients with clinical and biochemical signs of hyperparathyroidism (19 primary and 6 secondary) submitted to surgery in the last 20 months. Every patient was scanned with both B-mode and color-Doppler US. At surgery, 19 parathyroid adenomas were found--16 of them correctly identified preoperatively with color-Doppler US and 3 false negatives (retrotracheal glands). Moreover, 1 false positive was observed due to a small Plummer's adenoma misdiagnosed as an intrathyroid parathyroid adenoma: both lesions had the same vascular pattern on US images. Sensitivity was 84.5% and specificity 93.7%. In secondary HPT patients, 23 hyperplastic glands were found at surgery--21 of them correctly identified preoperatively by color-Doppler US, with 2 false negatives. No false positive was found. Sensitivity was 87.5% and specificity 100%. Sensitivity does not differ very much from what reported in literature. Specificity is clearly increased by the use of color-Doppler US. The possible source of error represented by Plummer's adenomas lead us to investigate pulsed Doppler capabilities in differentiating Plummer's adenomas from PT glands, since color-Doppler findings were similar in the two conditions. Peak velocities recorded with both color and pulsed Doppler showed velocity to range 6 to 40 cm/s in parathyroid glands (mean +/- SD: 14.6 +/- 11.7) and 38 to 120 cm/s in thyrotoxic nodules (mean +/- SD: 78.4 +/- 23). The statistical analysis of the results showed a highly significant difference between the two groups of velocities. Peak velocities as recorded in the main, vessels of the parathyroid glands with color and pulsed Doppler were correlated with the activity of the parathyroid glands.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Translated title of the contributionClinical applications of color-Doppler: the parathyroid glands
Original languageItalian
Pages (from-to)114-119
Number of pages6
JournalRadiologia Medica
Issue number5 Suppl 1
Publication statusPublished - May 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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