Usefulness of combination of high-resolution ultrasonography and dual-phase dual-isotope iodine 123/technetium Tc 99m sestamibi scintigraphy for the preoperative localization of hyperplastic parathyroid glands in renal hyperparathyroidism

Sophie Périé, Hafedh Fessi, Marc Tassart, Nassima Younsi, Isabelle Poli, Jean Lacau St Guily, Jean-Noël Talbot
American Journal of Kidney Diseases 2005, 45 (2): 344-52

BACKGROUND: The usefulness of both dual-phase dual-isotope iodine 123 ( 123 I)/technetium Tc 99m ( 99m Tc) sestamibi scintigraphy and ultrasonography for the detection of hyperplastic parathyroid glands secondary to renal hyperparathyroidism is rarely addressed; most studies focus on primary hyperparathyroidism. However, it may be crucial to identify and accurately localize hyperplastic glands before surgery.

METHODS: To study the usefulness of high-resolution ultrasonography (performed by both the radiologist and surgeon) and dual-phase dual-isotope 123 I/ 99m Tc sestamibi scintigraphy in patients with renal hyperparathyroidism, a series of 20 patients consecutively referred for parathyroidectomy was studied prospectively. Results of both examinations, independently scored, were correlated with surgical and histopathologic findings for each hyperplastic parathyroid gland localization.

RESULTS: All parathyroid glands except 1 were found during primary surgery consisting of a subtotal parathyroidectomy (success rate, 99%). The missed gland was removed successfully 1 month later. Neither supernumerary nor ectopic glands were found. Mean weight of totally removed parathyroid glands was 633 mg. Ultrasonography detected 75% of hyperplastic parathyroid glands; dual-phase 123 I/ 99m Tc sestamibi scintigraphy, 66%; and a combination of both, 88%. Most missed glands at scintigraphy corresponded to superior glands, whereas false-negative results at ultrasonography correlated with low gland weight.

CONCLUSION: Combined ultrasonography and 123 I/ 99m Tc sestamibi scintigraphy should be considered for routine use to localize hyperplastic parathyroid glands in patients with renal hyperparathyroidism undergoing surgery. We suggest performing scintigraphy first, before ultrasonography, to guide the radiologist to areas of hyperfunctioning glands. In our experience, this proved very helpful in achieving a high surgical success rate in patients with renal hyperparathyroidism, especially when the surgeon visualizes the parathyroid glands at ultrasonography.

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