July 1965

Parathyroid Crisis

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. Resident in Surgery (Dr. Kutner), Associate Professor of Surgery, (Dr. Morton).

Arch Surg. 1965;91(1):71-76. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1965.01320130073010

THE OVERALL mortality rate for patients suffering from parathyroid crisis is reported to be as high as high as 66%.1,2 This disease is the infrequently seen form of hyperparathyroidism characterized by symptoms and signs of acute and progressive hypercalcemia. Despite the high mortality rate reported, the disease need not prove fatal if the condition is promptly recognized and excision of the parathyroid adenoma undertaken without delay.

On review of records at the University of Rochester Medical Center, 22 clinically recognized cases of hyperparathyroidism were found. Of these, two represented hypercalcemic crisis.

Report of Cases 

Case 1.  —A 48-year-old woman was admitted to Strong Memorial Hospital June 18, 1942 with a seven-week history of progressive nausea, vague epigastric discomfort, constipation, weakness, anorexia, and an 11 lb. (5.0 kg) weight loss. She had experienced similar symptoms for a brief period seven months previously but had otherwise been in good health except

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