Preoperative diagnosis and prognosis in 40 Parathyroid Carcinoma Patients

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Parathyroid carcinoma (PC) is a rare disease which is difficult to diagnose preoperatively and predict prognosis. The goal of this study was to analyse the preoperative predictive factors and prognostic factors in PC patients and to evaluate the possibility of diagnosing PC preoperatively.

Design, Setting and Patients

This is a retrospective study from Jan 2000 to Aug 2015 conducted in Shanghai Ruijin Hospital.


Comparisons were made between 40 parathyroid carcinoma patients and 282 patients with benign parathyroid lesions during the same period. All patients underwent parathyroid surgery, and the results were certified by paraffin pathology. Prognostic factors were analysed in the 40 PC patients.


Patients with higher levels of intact parathyroid hormone (P < 0·001, OR = 1·001, CI: 1·000–1·002), calcium (P = 0·008, OR = 3·395, CI: 1·382–8·341) and a larger parathyroid volume (P = 0·001, OR = 2·023, CI: 1·333–3·071) were more likely to have PC. Local excision (P = 0·008, OR = 4·992, CI: 1·533–16·252), stage III in the Schulte staging system (P = 0·039, OR = 9·600, CI: 1·12–82·322), high risk in the Schulte Risk Classification (P = 0·012, OR = 5·466, CI: 1·448–20·628) and first surgery by other medical teams (P = 0·008, OR = 4·992, CI: 1·496–15·037) were associated with PC recurrence. Calcium (P = 0·01, OR = 7·270, CI: 1·611–32·812), intact parathyroid hormone (P = 0·037, OR = 1·001, CI: 1·000–1·001), local excision (P = 0·009, OR = 6·875, CI: 1·633–28·936) and recurrence (P = 0·014, OR = 7·762, CI: 1·504–40·055) were associated with death.


A preoperative diagnostic system may provide a new method to distinguish PC from benign parathyroid lesions before surgery. For PC patients who did not undergo en-bloc resection at first operation, timely further surgery may offer a second chance of cure. Early diagnosis and surgery are pivotal to reduce mortality in PC patients.

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