Non-Functional Parathyroid Carcinoma: A Review of the Literature and Report of a Case Requiring Extensive Surgery
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- Wilkins, B.J. & Lewis, J.S. Head and Neck Pathol (2009) 3: 140. doi:10.1007/s12105-009-0115-4
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Parathyroid carcinoma is a rare malignancy, and only accounts for 0.5–2% of cases of primary hyperparathyroidism. Less than 10% of parathyroid carcinomas are non-functional, and as such, they have been rarely reported in the literature. Importantly, margin status at resection is related to prognosis, and only a handful of case reports of non-functional carcinoma note this important parameter. Here we report the first case of non-functional parathyroid carcinoma with negative margins, and review the literature on this rare entity. Whether functional or non-functional, parathyroid carcinoma can often be difficult to differentiate from benign parathyroid adenoma. While diagnosis has been based on clinical and histological criteria, recent data concerning the molecular underpinnings of parathyroid carcinoma may allow for improved accuracy in distinguishing benign and malignant parathyroid tumors.