Excision of a mediastinal parathyroid gland with use of video-assisted thoracoscopy, intraoperative 99mTc-sestamibi scanning, and intraoperative monitoring of intact parathyroid hormone

Roderick M Quiros, William Warren, Richard A Prinz
Endocrine Practice 2004, 10 (1): 45-8

OBJECTIVE: To report the complementary use of video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) and intraoperative 99mTc-sestamibi scanning for persistent secondary hyperparathyroidism due to a mediastinal supernumerary parathyroid gland.

METHODS: We describe a patient with recurrent secondary hyperparathyroidism attributable to a mediastinal parathyroid gland who underwent parathyroidectomy with use of VATS, intraoperative 99mTc-sestamibi scanning (gamma probe), and intraoperative monitoring of intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH).

RESULTS: A 32-year-old man with chronic renal failure who had undergone a 4-gland parathyroidectomy with autotransplantation 14 years previously presented with symptomatic hypercalcemia. A preoperative single-photon emission computed tomographic (SPECT) sestamibi scan revealed a focus of mediastinal uptake, suggestive of an intrathymic gland. The patient underwent a cervical exploration, and the previously reimplanted parathyroid gland and the thymus were resected. iPTH levels failed to normalize, and the operation was terminated. A repeated SPECT scan again revealed an area of mediastinal uptake. Computed tomographic scan of the chest showed a mediastinal gland adjacent to the aortic arch. VATS and intra-operative sestamibi scanning aided in localization of the ectopic parathyroid gland. After removal of the hyperplastic gland, iPTH levels decreased appropriately.

CONCLUSION: In reoperative parathyroidectomy involving mediastinal glands, VATS, complemented by gamma probe localization and iPTH monitoring, may be used to minimize the operative dissection needed to cure hyperparathyroidism.

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