The possibility of transplanting parathyroid gland fragments into accessible muscle as functioning autografts in the human being has been supported but unproved. During operations in the thyrocervical area, the parathyroid glands frequently are removed, either intentionally or inadvertently.
We have had occasion to transplant slices of parathyroid glands in five instances; four parathyroid glands were proved to be normal, and a benign adenoma appeared in the fifth. The parathyroid gland was positioned in a muscular bed in the patient's forearm. Plasma parathyroid hormone (PTH) measurements by radioimmunoassay were made from the implant venous effluent. The venous outflow from the contralateral arm was used for control. We have concluded that parathyroid tissue can be transplanted, does function, and might be capable of providing calcium homeostasis.
Hickey RC, Samaan NA. Human Parathyroid AutotransplantationProved Function by Radioimmunoassay of Plasma Parathyroid Hormone. Arch Surg. 1975;110(8):892-895. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1975.01360140036007