Contemporary Multimodality Imaging of Primary Hyperparathyroidism

Mitesh Naik, Sairah R Khan, Desmond Owusu, Ali Alsafi, Fausto Palazzo, James E Jackson, Chris J Harvey, Tara D Barwick
Radiographics: a Review Publication of the Radiological Society of North America, Inc 2022, 42 (3): 841-860
Primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) is a disorder characterized by hypercalcemia and an elevated or inappropriately normal parathyroid hormone level. Classic features include bone pain, fractures, renal impairment, nephrolithiasis, and mental disturbance. However, most cases of PHPT are now asymptomatic at diagnosis or associated with nonspecific neurocognitive changes. The most frequent cause of PHPT is a solitary adenoma that secretes parathyroid hormone without the normal suppressive effect of serum calcium. A smaller number of cases can be attributed to multigland disease. Parathyroidectomy is curative and is considered for nearly all affected patients. Although PHPT is primarily a clinical and biochemical diagnosis, imaging is key to the localization of adenomas, which can lie in conventional locations adjacent to the thyroid gland or less commonly at ectopic sites in the neck and mediastinum. In addition, accurate localization facilitates the use of a minimally invasive or targeted surgical approach. Frequently used localization techniques include US, parathyroid scintigraphy, and four-dimensional CT. Second- and third-line modalities such as MRI, PET/CT, and selective venous sampling with or without parathyroid arteriography can increase confidence before surgery. These localization techniques, along with the associated technical aspects, relative advantages, and drawbacks, are described. Local expertise, patient factors, and surgeon preference are important considerations when determining the type and sequence of investigation. A multimodality approach is ultimately desirable, particularly in challenging scenarios such as multigland disease, localization of ectopic adenomas, and persistent or recurrent PHPT. Online supplemental material is available for this article. © RSNA, 2022.

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