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September 1955

An Evaluation of Newer Methods in the Diagnosis of Hyperparathyroidism

Author Affiliations

From the Divisions of General Surgery and Urology, Henry Ford Hospital.

AMA Arch Surg. 1955;71(3):342-346. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1955.01270150036004

Hyperparathyroidism is an uncommon disease. However, experience in the past 15 years clearly shows that it is commoner than previously realized and that physicians must be alert to think of its possibility. There are several important points to consider in this respect.

PROBLEMS IN THE DIAGNOSIS  1. The symptoms of the disease are not specific, and so, in general, the diagnosis of hyperparathyroidism is made in those patients showing two of the manifestations of the condition, namely, osteitis fibrosa cystica and renal lithiasis.2. The osseous manifestations of the disease are relatively rare today in this country because our diet is high in calcium content. Therefore, most cases of hyperparathyroidism are now recognized by screening patients who have urinary lithiasis.3. The diagnosis of hyperparathyroidism then requires laboratory confirmation in nearly all cases. In general, serum calcium and phosphorus determinations have been used in screening procedures, a level of serum