Parathyroid crisis due to ectopic parathyroid adenomas can pose diagnostic and management challenges, since it is quite rare in clinical practice.Clinical Findings/Patient Concerns:
A 67-year-old Chinese male presented as a parathyroid crisis due to an ectopic mediastinal parathyroid adenoma with his serum calcium and PTH markedly increased in short time. An ultrasonography and computed tomography (CT) scan of the neck did not reveal any parathyroid adenoma. Thoracic CT detected a contrast-enhanced mass in the mediastinum. Although the ectopic location is difficult to appreciate on anterior planar technetium-99m-sestamibi scintigraphy views but has been accurately localized with single photon-emission computed tomography/computed tomography. After fluid resuscitation, loop diuretic, and calcitonin treatment, a thoracoscope surgery was performed. The histopathology of the mediastinal nodule was consistent with a parathyroid adenoma. Hypocalcemia due to hungry bone syndrome occurred after surgery and was resolved quickly with large-dose calcium and calcitriol supplementation. He is asymptomatic and has normal serum calcium and PTH levels on regular follow-up.Diagnoses:
The ultrasonography, CT, sestamibi, and single photon-emission computed tomography/computed tomography provide limited sensitivity in the detecting ectopic parathyroid adenomas alone. The combination of these techniques has incremental value in localizing ectopic parathyroid adenomas over either technique alone.Conclusion:
Any parathyroid crisis without parathyroid adenoma in the neck should alert physicians to search for ectopic locations through combination of imaging techniques.