Imaging of the parathyroid glands in primary hyperparathyroidism

Salvatore Minisola, Cristiana Cipriani, Daniele Diacinti, Francesco Tartaglia, Alfredo Scillitani, Jessica Pepe, David Scott-Coombes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) is one of the most frequent endocrine diseases worldwide. Surgery is the only potentially curable option for patients with this disorder, even though in asymptomatic patients 50 years of age or older without end organ complications, a conservative treatment may be a possible alternative. Bilateral neck exploration under general anaesthesia has been the standard for the definitive treatment. However, significant improvements in preoperative imaging, together with the implementation of rapid parathyroid hormone determination, have determined an increased implementation of focused, minimally invasive surgical approach. Surgeons prefer to have a localization study before an operation (both in the classical scenario and in the minimally invasive procedure). They are not satisfied by having been referred a patient with just a biochemical diagnosis of PHPT. Imaging studies must not be utilized to make the diagnosis of PHPT. They should be obtained to both assist in determining disease etiology and to guide operative procedures together with the nuclear medicine doctor and, most importantly, with the surgeon. On the contrary, apart from minimally invasive procedures in which localization procedures are an obligate choice, some surgeons believe that literature on parathyroidectomy over the past two decades reveals a bias towards localization. Therefore, surgical expertise is more important than the search for abnormal parathyroid glands.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)D1-D8
JournalEuropean Journal of Endocrinology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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