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November 1989

Primary Hyperparathyroidism Associated With Two Enlarged Parathyroid Glands

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery (Drs Roses, Karp, and Sudarsky), Pathology (Dr Valensi), Radiology (Drs Rosen and Blum), and Medicine (Dr Blum), New York (NY) University Medical Center.

Arch Surg. 1989;124(11):1261-1265. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1989.01410110015002

• An increasingly recognized although small percentage of patients with primary hyperparathyroidism have enlargement of two parathyroid glands. We have treated nine patients with primary hyperparathyroidism associated with such double parathyroid gland enlargement. In four of these patients, marked asymmetry of the two enlarged glands was noted and the failure to recognize and excise a second enlarged parathyroid gland resulted in persistent or recurrent hyperparathyroidism. In one of these patients, the second enlargement was present in a supernumerary mediastinal gland. The subsequent excision of the second enlarged parathyroid gland resulted in normocalcemia in each instance. This contrasts with five patients in whom initial excision of two enlarged glands resulted in normocalcemia with no recurrence of hypercalcemia. Only three patients fulfilled the histologic criteria of true double adenomas. The remainder showed multiglandular hypercellularity. This experience supports identifying all parathyroid glands and recognizing that even minimal enlargement of a gland may be important pathophysiologically, regardless of its histopathologic classification. Excision of both enlarged glands, even if asymmetric, is appropriate.

(Arch Surg. 1989;124:1261-1265)

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