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Detection and localization of parathyroid adenomas in patients with hyperparathyroidism using a single radionuclide imaging procedure with technetium-99m-sestamibi (double-phase study)

Dual radionuclide imaging using a combination of 201Tl with either 99mTcO4- or 123I is recognized as a useful procedure in the preoperative localization of parathyroid adenomas. Recently, 99mTc-sestamibi (MIBI) has been introduced for myocardial perfusion imaging as an alternative to 201Tl. The purpose of this prospective study was to evaluate parathyroid scan using early and late imaging following MIBI injection. Twenty-three patients (21 F, 2 M, mean age: 57 yr) with a clinical and biologic diagnosis of hyperparathyroidism were submitted to a MIBI study prior to surgical exploration of the neck. Cervico-thoracic planar imaging (anterior view, 10 min/view) was performed at 15 min and at 2-3 hr after an intravenous injection of 20-25 mCi of MIBI. A positive MIBI scan for parathyroid adenoma was defined as an area of increased focal uptake which persisted on late imaging, contrary to the uptake in the normal thyroid tissue which progressively decreases over time (differential washout). Surgical exploration of the neck, performed between 1 day and 72 days (average: 16 days) after the MIBI study, showed a parathyroid adenoma in 21 patients and hyperplasia in two patients. MIBI scan correctly detected and localized 19/21 adenomas (90%). In conclusion, parathyroid imaging using a single radionuclide with MIBI (early and late study with differential washout analysis) is a promising procedure in the preoperative detection and localization of parathyroid adenomas in patients with primary hyperparathyroidism.

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