Intrathyroidal parathyroid glands can be a cause of failed cervical exploration for hyperparathyroidism

Robert C. McIntyre, John H. Eisenach, Nathan W. Pearlman, Chester E. Ridgeway, R. Dale Liechty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: The incidence of intrathyroidal parathyroid glands remains controversial. The purpose of this study was to determine the incidence in a series of patients with hyperparathyroidism. METHODS: Three hundred nine patients underwent parathyroidectomy. Patients were divided into two groups: uniglandular disease versus hyperplasia. RESULTS: Eighteen of 309 patients (6%) had abnormal intrathyroidal parathyroid glands. The incidence was 3% (7 of 222) in patients with uniglandular disease versus 15% (11 of 73) in those with hyperplasia. With a mean follow-up of 54 months, 12 patients are eucalcemic, 5 have persistent hypocalcemia, and 1 has recurrent hypercalcemia. There were no recurrent laryngeal nerve injuries. CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that an intrathyroidal adenoma is an uncommon cause of failure, whereas abnormal intrathyroidal parathyroid tissue may be a more common cause of failure in patients with hyperplasia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)750-754
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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