Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract. Supernumerary parathyroid glands (SPGs) are found in 13% of random autopsies. The high incidence of SPGs could explain the persistence or trigger recurrence of renal hyperparathyroidism after surgery. The aim of this study was to assess the frequency and clinical relevance of SPG in patients operated on for renal hyperparathyroidism (HPT). In this retrospective study we reviewed the medical records of 290 patients with renal HPT who were initially treated in our department. We examined the anatomic and pathologic findings during cervical surgical exploration and the outcome of HPT during follow-up. SPGs were identified in 87 patients (30%) during the initial cervicotomy, corresponding to intrathymic parathyroid cell islets (one to four) in 70 cases and to extrathymic SPG in 17 patients. Among 260 patients available for follow-up, 11 experienced persistent HPT (4%), and 34 developed recurrent HPT (13%). A total of 25 patients were reoperated on, and SPGs were responsible for 4 of 8 cases of persistent HPT and 4 of 17 cases of recurrent HPT, representing an overall frequency of 32%. The anatomic distribution of SPGs found during reoperations included thymus, retroesophageal grove, carotid sheath, and mediastinum. SPGs are thus present in 30% of patients with renal HPT and are situated mainly in the thymus. Thymectomy should be performed routinely during the first surgical exploration to prevent recurrences arising from anterior mediastinal glands. SPGs were also responsible for 32% of persistent or recurrent HPT. In that setting, frankly ectopic SPGs are not rare, and preoperative imaging appears highly desirable prior to embarking on surgical reexploration.
Type of Medium: