The use of intraoperative parathyroid hormone monitoring in minimally invasive parathyroid surgery

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Surgery is the first-line management option for patients with primary hyperparathyroidism (pHPT). Minimally invasive parathyroidectomy (MIP) is now preferable but few centres offer this service, mainly because of lack of intraoperative parathyroid hormone (IOPTH) testing. The aim of this study was to identify whether the measurement of IOPTH in patients having minimally invasive parathyroidectomy for pHPT alters their management.


A retrospective review was carried out of 78 consecutive patients who underwent parathyroid surgery by a single surgeon with a special interest in parathyroid surgery. The clinical impact of IOPTH monitoring was recorded postoperatively in a timely manner. Serum adjusted calcium levels were checked preoperatively (on admission) and one month postoperatively; normalisation was considered a cure.


In the setting of curative MIP, IOPTH measurement did not influence the management in any of the patients but it could have led to bilateral parathyroid exploration (BPE) in three instances. Similarly, in cases that required lengthening of the MIP incision, IOPTH results did not influence patient management although it could have led to BPE in one case.


MIP offers an effective cure for patients with hyperparathyroidism. The addition of IOPTH testing adds increased expense, operating time and risk to patients otherwise suitable for MIP.

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