Medline: 1518393

Medicine 71(4): 197-205, 1992.

Parathyroid carcinoma: clinical and pathologic features in 43 patients.

Wynne AG, van Heerden J, Carney JA, et al.


Parathyroid carcinoma accounts for 0.5 to 5% of all cases of hyperparathyroidism. We reviewed the clinical, surgical, and pathologic features observed in all patients with parathyroid carcinoma evaluated at the Mayo Clinic from 1920 through 1991. Forty-three patients (22 women, 21 men; mean age, 54 yrs, range 29-72) were identified, including 2 with familial hyperparathyroidism. Information on initial presentation was available in 40 patients: 15 (38%) presented with polydipsia or polyuria, 11 (27%) with myalgias or arthralgias, 7 (17%) with weight loss, and 4 (10%) with nephrolithiasis; 3 patients (7%) were asymptomatic at presentation. Of 31 patients in whom the initial neck examination was recorded, 14 (45%) had a palpable neck mass. The mean serum calcium and serum phosphorus levels were 14.6 mg/dl and 2.3 mg/dl, respectively. Parathyroid hormone levels were elevated in 21 of 21 patients (mean elevation, 10.2 times upper limit of normal). Complications included nephrolithiasis in 14 of 25 patients (56%), bone disease in 20 of 22 patients (91%) and both in 8 of 15 patients (53%). All patients underwent primary surgical resection of parathyroid carcinoma. Twenty-six of 43 patients (60%) required a second operation with 18 patients requiring multiple re-explorations. At the second operation, residual tumor was found in the neck (68%), mediastinum (16%), or both (12%). Six patients received radiation therapy to the neck (5 patients) or bones (1 patient) for recurrent or metastatic disease. Of these, 1 patient appeared cured of parathyroid carcinoma by radiation therapy 11 years after documented tumor invasion of his trachea. Repeated excision of tumor recurrences was an effective means of controlling hypercalcemia in these patients.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) (55 Refs)

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