Clinical science| Volume 204, ISSUE 1, P1-6, July 2012

The additional value of intraoperative parathyroid hormone assessment is marginal in patients with nonfamilial primary hyperparathyroidism: a prospective cohort study

Published:December 23, 2011DOI:



      The success of minimally invasive parathyroidectomy is attributed to evolving preoperative imaging techniques and intraoperative parathyroid hormone (IOPTH) measurement. The additional value of IOPTH measurement in patients undergoing surgery for primary hyperparathyroidism (pHPT) was evaluated.


      Between 1999 and 2010 there were 119 patients who underwent surgery for pHPT at our institutions. In all patients, preoperative imaging was performed and IOPTH samples were collected prospectively but the results were not disclosed during surgery.


      Postoperative calcium level normalized in 114 patients (96%). The 5 surgical failures represented the maximum yield of IOPTH sampling. Three of these patients would have been identified intraoperatively by an inadequate IOPTH decrease, whereas IOPTH decreased inaccurately in the other 2 patients. In addition, in 1 of these 3 patients no abnormal gland was found during minimally invasive parathyroidectomy and subsequent conventional neck exploration. Therefore, only 2 reoperations would have been prevented (1.7%).


      IOPTH would have changed the outcome in 2 patients, increasing the biochemical cure rate from 96% to 98%. We believe that although it can be helpful in certain cases, it may not be necessary routinely in patients treated for pHPT.


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