Minimally Invasive Radio-guided Surgery for Primary Hyperparathyroidism



Minimally invasive parathyroidectomy can reduce operative morbidity and operative time.1,2 Radio-guided parathyroidectomy utilizing Tc-99m Sestamibi is one approach to minimally invasive parathyroidectomy.3,4 Here, we report a multimedia case study of minimally invasive radio-guided parathyroidectomy.


A 60-year-old African American female was found to have total calcium of 11.1 mg/dl, intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH) of 175 pg/ml, and a 24-h urine calcium of 620 mg/24 h. A Tc-99 Sestamibi scan (23.5 mCi of Tc-99 Sestamibi injected i.v.) and ultrasound localized a candidate adenoma to the right upper position. The patient was injected with 5.3 mCi Tc-99m Sestamibi 3 h before incision.


A gamma probe (C-Trak Automatic System, Care Wise Medical Products) recorded in vivo counts of the right upper parathyroid (3,465) that were 160% of the background. Background counts were recorded from the resected tumor bed (2,224). A 1.4-g adenoma was identified in this location; ex vivo counts (3,226) were 150% of the background.5 Intra-operative iPTH baseline values were 176 pg/ml and 148 pg/ml, and 5- and 10-min post-resection levels were 17 pg/ml (90% drop) and 18 pg/ml (90% drop), respectively. The patient’s recovery was uncomplicated. At 1 week postoperatively, total calcium was 8.9 mg/dl and iPTH was 16 pg/ml. At 1 year, the calcium and iPTH levels were 8.7 mg/dl and 53 pg/ml, respectively.


Radio-guided minimally invasive parathyroidectomy using Tc-99 Sestamibi localization is an effective approach to hyperparathyroidism. For patients without localization, exposure of all four parathyroid glands is preferable.6,7 Surgeons should be familiar with both techniques.

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Correspondence to John A. Olson Jr. MD, PhD.

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Untch, B.R., Barfield, M.E., Bason, J. et al. Minimally Invasive Radio-guided Surgery for Primary Hyperparathyroidism. Ann Surg Oncol 14, 3401–3402 (2007).

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  • Adenoma
  • Hyperparathyroidism
  • Parathyroid Gland
  • Primary Hyperparathyroidism
  • Parathyroid Adenoma