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As a novel type of lymphatic tracer, carbon nanoparticles (CNs) were reported not to stain parathyroid glands (PGs) into black, so it may have a clinical potential in protection of PGs during thyroidectomy. The purpose of this study was to investigate the clinical application and significance of CN in protection of PGs from surrounding tissues.A total of 82 consecutive patients were enrolled into this study and were divided into CN group and control group. Parathyroid function (hypoparathyroidism and hypocalcemia) was evaluated.The identification rates of PGs (≤2) and PGs (≥3) were 24.4% and 75.6% in the CN group and 46.3% and 53.7% in the control group, respectively. The difference in the identification rates between the 2 groups was statistically significant (P = 0.038). Pathological results revealed 3 accidental PGs resection occurred in the CN group, whereas 9 accidental PGs removal occurred in the control group. The difference was statistically significant (P = 0.046). Moreover, the incidence of the patients with hypoparathyroidism was statistically significant between the 2 groups (36.6% in CN group vs 53.7% in control group, P = 0.043) at day 1, but not at day 7 (P = 0.424).CN may have a potential in protecting PGs clinically.