February 1978

Carcinoma of the Parathyroid

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery (Drs Jarman and Myers) and Pathology (Dr Marshall), Bowman Gray School of Medicine of Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC.

Arch Surg. 1978;113(2):123-125. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1978.01370140013001

• We report on eight cases of parathyroid carcinoma seen at the Bowman Gray School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, since 1969. Diagnosis of a parathyroid disorder was made on the basis of elevated serum calcium levels and associated disorders such as renal calculi, peptic ulcer disease, pancreatitis, and demineralization of bone. Six of the involved glands were on the left side. In seven patients, the disease was localized to the gland or adjacent structures; one patient had cervical lymph node invasion. Except for the last patient, in whom radical neck dissection and wide excision was done, local excision with adequate margins was the only procedure done. The patient with metastases died of his disease four years later. One patient died of myocardial infarction two years later, but had been normocalcemic in the interval between operation and death, and one patient is hypercalcemic and has had two local recurrences within a 3½-year period. The other five patients are alive and well. The routine use of automated serum level determinations of all hospitalized patients has led to early detection of this malignancy, while it is still a stage I lesion in many instances. On the basis of this material, we conclude that radical neck dissection can no longer be advocated as a routine measure in the treatment of parathyroid carcinoma.

(Arch Surg 113:123-125, 1978)