Benefits of surgeon-performed ultrasound for primary hyperparathyroidism

Shalini Arora, Paul R. Balash, Jenny Yoo, Gardner S. Smith, Richard A. Prinz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Focused, minimally invasive parathyroidectomy (MIP) is widely accepted when preoperative imaging localizes a single parathyroid adenoma. Many surgeons use 99mTc-sestamibi scintigraphy (MIBI) +/-, a cervical ultrasound for preoperative localization. We propose that surgeon-performed ultrasound (SUS) is the only imaging modality required in most patients with primary hyperparathyroidism (pHPT), resulting in patient convenience and reduced cost. Since July 2006, patients with pHPT underwent MIP based solely on a positive SUS. Intraoperative parathyroid hormone assay was used to determine the extent of operation. A retrospective review from July 2006 through December 2008 identified 160 patients who underwent parathyroidectomy after SUS on their initial office visit. SUS correctly identified an enlarged parathyroid gland in 119/160 (74%) patients. In 41 patients, SUS was the only localizing study. MIBI was done in 119 patients. In 54 patients, SUS confirmed the MIBI, and in 28 patients with a negative MIBI, SUS was positive. In the 41 patients with a negative SUS, an MIBI was positive in ten. Ninety-eight patients had MIP. Theoretically, 85 MIBIs were unnecessary because of a positive SUS corresponding to a potential cost savings of at least $90,000. SUS to localize parathyroid adenomas is accurate and facilitates MIP. It provides substantial cost savings and patient convenience and should be the first diagnostic procedure performed for patients suspected to have pHPT. MIBI can be reserved for those patients in whom ultrasound has failed to localize a parathyroid gland.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)861-867
Number of pages7
JournalLangenbeck's Archives of Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Minimally invasive parathyroidectomy
  • Primary hyperparathyroidism
  • Sestamibi
  • Ultrasound


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