Polyclonal origin of parathyroid tumors is common and is associated with multiple gland disease in primary hyperparathyroidism

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Background.Parathyroid tumors are mostly considered monoclonal neoplasms, the rationale for focused parathyroidectomy in primary hyperparathyroidism. We reported that flow sorting parathyroid tumor cells and methylation-sensitive polymerase chain reaction (me-PCR) of polymorphic human androgen receptor gene and phosphoglycerate kinase gene alleles in deoxyribonucleic acid reveals that ≤35% of parathyroid tumors are polyclonal. We sought to confirm these findings and assess for clinical relevance.Methods.Parathyroid tumors from 286 female primary hyperparathyroidism patients were analyzed for clonal status. Tumor clonal status was compared with clinical variables and operative findings. Statistical analysis was performed and significance was established at P < .05.Results.In the study, 176 (62%) patients were informative for human androgen receptor gene and/or phosphoglycerate kinase gene. Assignment of clonal status was made in 119 (68%) tumors, of which 64 (54%) were monoclonal and 55 (46%) were polyclonal. Comparison of tumor clonal status to clinical variables in patients with complete operative data (N = 82) showed that while clinical features were the same between tumor types, patients with polyclonal tumors more often had multiple gland disease (risk ratio 4.066, confidence interval, 1.016–16.26; P = .039) potentially missed at unilateral neck exploration.Conclusion.This work confirms that primary hyperparathyroidism is often the result of polyclonal tumors and that parathyroid tumor clonal status may be associated with multiple gland disease.

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