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From The JAMA Network
March 21, 2017

The Definitive Management of Primary HyperparathyroidismWho Needs an Operation?

Author Affiliations
  • 1University of California, Davis, Comprehensive Cancer Center, Sacramento

Copyright 2017 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.

JAMA. 2017;317(11):1167-1168. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.1620

One of the first cases of successful parathyroidectomy for primary hyperparathyroidism was described in JAMA in 1929. In that report, Barr and colleagues1 detail the case of a 56-year-old woman who presented with an inability to walk, frequent urination, and swelling of the right forefinger. She also had profound muscular hypotonia, nephrolithiasis with hypercalciuria, and bone demineralization. Her serum calcium level was elevated to 16 mg/dL. Suspecting the parathyroid glands to be causing her illness, the patient underwent surgery to remove a walnut-sized parathyroid adenoma from her neck, an operation that was complicated by postoperative hypocalcemia. Eventually both the hypocalcemia and her symptoms of hyperparathyroidism improved. The authors coined the term hyperparathyroidism to describe the relationship between the parathyroid tumor and this patient’s disease state.1

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