Utility of ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration of parathyroid adenomas for localization before minimally invasive parathyroidectomy

Devaprabu Abraham, Pramod K. Sharma, Joel Bentz, Paige M. Gault, Leigh Neumayer, Donald A. McClain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the sensitivity and specificity of ultrasound (US)-guided fine-needle aspiration (FNA) and measurement of parathyroid hormone (PTH) in the aspirate (FNA/PTH) as a preoperative localization procedure. Methods: The study group consisted of 34 consecutive patients with primary hyperparathyroidism. The FNA/PTH estimations in these patients were compared with those from 13 proven thyroid nodules. All patients underwent US study of the neck, which suggested the presence of a solitary adenoma in 30 patients and of hyperplasia in 2; no adenoma or hyperplasia could be visualized in 2 patients. Thirty-two patients underwent FNA/PTH, which yielded a mean PTH level of 22,060.0 ± 6,653.0 pg/mL. This result was significantly different (P<0.001) from the mean PTH level in 13 thyroid nodules (9.0 ± 1.0 pg/mL). Results: On the basis of the FNA/PTH results, 28 patients with suspected adenomas underwent minimally invasive parathyroidectomy (MIP), and 2 patients are awaiting a surgical procedure. Of these 28 patients, 27 had more than a 50% decline in intraoperative PTH level after removal of the suspected adenoma, confirming surgical success. In 1 patient, multigland hyperplasia was discovered during the operation. The 2 study subjects with US findings of suspected hyperplasia underwent 4-gland surgical procedures. All patients treated surgically continued to have normal serum calcium levels 6 to 18 months postoperatively. Conclusion: Primary hyperparathyroidism is caused most commonly by a solitary adenoma and less commonly by multigland hyperplasia of the parathyroid glands. Surgical resection is the only curative therapy. MIP has become a frequently used strategy, but there are limitations to current preoperative localization techniques. We conclude that US-guided FNA is a useful technique that facilitates MIP, with a high degree of specificity (95%) and sensitivity (91%).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-337
Number of pages5
JournalEndocrine Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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