Evaluation for concomitant thyroid nodules and primary hyperparathyroidism in patients undergoing parathyroidectomy or thyroidectomy

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Previous investigators have reported the incidence of thyroid nodules in patients with primary hyperparathyroidism; others have noted the incidence of primary hyperparathyroidism in patients who underwent thyroidectomy. It is well known that both of these entities coexist. In this article, we present a single-center experience with the incidence of concomitant thyroid nodular disease and primary hyperparathyroidism in patients who underwent parathyroidectomy or thyroidectomy.


From May 2006 to December 2007, 526 patients underwent thyroidectomy, parathyroidectomy, or both. Operations were performed by surgeons in the Johns Hopkins Endocrine Surgery Section after screening preoperatively for concomitant thyroid nodular disease or primary hyperparathyroidism.


Among the 200 patients who underwent a parathyroidectomy, 102 (51.0%) were found to have thyroid nodular disease. Six percent of these 200 patients also had a thyroid malignancy. Of the 326 patients who were primarily seen for thyroid disease, the incidence of primary hyperparathyroidism was 3.1%.


By implementing a comprehensive approach to patients who present with thyroid disease or primary hyperparathyroidism, concomitant pathology may be elucidated preoperatively. This approach will facilitate the detection of otherwise unsuspected thyroid cancer and hyperparathyroidism as well as prevent unnecessary reoperative surgery.

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