Total parathyroidectomy without autotransplantation as a standard procedure in the treatment of secondary hyperparathyroidism
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Background. Total parathyroidectomy with autografting of parathyroid tissue and subtotal resection of the parathyroid glands are currently considered as standard surgical procedures for the treatment of severe secondary hyperparathyroidism. However, a considerable recurrence rate following these procedures ranges from 5% to 80%. We present a retrospective analysis of the results of parathyroidectomy with autotransplantation to the forearm versus parathyroidectomy alone.
Patients and methods. We analyzed the clinical course of 11 consecutive patients who had undergone parathyroidectomy between 1995 and 1999, and who were not simultaneously autografted. Controls were 11 patients in whom autotransplantation of parathyroid tissue into the forearm had been routinely performed between 1993 and 1996 at our institution. Clinical symptoms and recurrence of hyperparathyroidism were assessed for comparison of the alternative treatment modalities. Recurrence of disease was defined by elevated parathormone (PTH) levels (>7.6 pmol/l) with clinical symptoms and/or need for reoperation.
Results. No recurrence of hyperparathyroidism was observed in patients without autotransplantation after a mean follow-up of 23 months (range 1–49). Measurement of intact serum PTH revealed residual PTH secretion even after removal of four glands (mean 2.02 pmol/l). Clinical symptoms improved substantially after surgery. In the historical control group 3 of the 11 autotransplanted patients (27%) required resection of transplanted tissue. Additionally, two patients (18%) presented with increased PTH secretion and clinical symptoms of recurrent hyperparathyroidism during follow-up. Thus, a total of five patients (45%) experienced relapsing hyperparathyroidism caused by the implanted tissue.
Conclusions. Total parathyroidectomy without autotransplantation is a safe procedure with a low rate of recurrent hyperparathyroidism when compared to parathyroidectomy with autotransplantation to the forearm in a historical control. These preliminary results mandates further investigations including a randomized trial.
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