Parathyroid 4-dimensional computed tomographic scans (4D-CTs) have emerged as an accurate and cost-effective initial localization study for patients with primary hyperparathyroidism. However, potential limitations and factors affecting the accuracy of preoperative 4D-CTs remain poorly defined.Objectives
To characterize factors associated with missed parathyroid lesions on preoperative 4D-CTs and to investigate patterns of commonly observed errors.Design, Setting, and Participants
A prospectively accrued patient database was analyzed from September 1, 2011, through October 31, 2016. The study was performed in a tertiary referral center. Consecutive patients with primary hyperparathyroidism undergoing preoperative 4D-CTs and subsequent parathyroidectomy were included in the study.Main Outcomes and Measures
Discordance between preoperative 4D-CTs and intraoperative findings in the number and location of abnormal parathyroid lesions.Results
Of 411 patients studied (mean [SD] age, 59  years; 325 [79.1%] female), 123 (29.9%) had discordance between preoperative 4D-CTs and intraoperative findings. Among the 411 patients, 75 (18.2%) had major discordance, including incorrectly localized adenoma on the contralateral side of the neck, missed double adenoma, and absence of any abnormal lesion detected on 4D-CTs. Compared with concordant cases, discordant cases had higher frequencies of multigland disease (66.7% [82 of 123] vs 24.3% [70 of 288], P < .001) and multinodular goiter or thyroid nodule (40.7% [50 of 123] vs 29.2% [84 of 288], P = .02). Missed parathyroid lesions were smaller (mean [SD], 0.86 [0.29] vs 1.24 [0.50] cm; P < .001) and were more likely to be in the inferior position (65.4% [87 of 133] vs 38.1% [177 of 465], P < .001). Parathyroid lesion size of 10 mm or less (odds ratio [OR], 4.37; 95% CI, 2.24-8.54), multigland disease (OR, 7.63; 95% CI, 3.49-16.69), multinodular goiter or thyroid nodule (OR, 1.82; 95% CI, 1.01-3.28), and parathyroid lesion in the inferior position (OR, 6.82; 95% CI, 3.10-14.99) were independently associated with discordant 4D-CT results.Conclusions and Relevance
Multigland disease was most strongly associated with discordance between preoperative 4D-CTs and intraoperative findings, followed by parathyroid lesion in the inferior position and parathyroid lesion size of 10 mm or less. Awareness of these potential pitfalls may allow surgeons to better leverage this new localization technique in preoperative planning and intraoperative troubleshooting.