Minimally invasive parathyroidectomy (MIP) depends on accurate preoperative localization of abnormal parathyroid glands. If the findings of a technetium Tc 99m sestamibi–labeled single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) (hereafter referred to as sestamibi SPECT or scan) are negative or ambiguous, cervical ultrasonography (CUS) may increase the success of preoperative gland localization and MIP, avoiding bilateral neck exploration.
We collected data regarding preoperative sestamibi SPECT and CUS for parathyroid gland localization and intraoperative findings.
Tertiary care university hospital.
From August 1, 2000, through January 31, 2003, 71 patients (12 men and 59 women; mean age, 59 years) with primary hyperparathyroidism underwent preoperative sestamibi SPECT and CUS. Patients with prior or concurrent thyroid surgery, reoperative parathyroid disease, secondary/tertiary hyperparathyroidism, or studies performed at outside hospitals, were excluded. The MIP was performed by 1 surgeon with a 2- to 3-cm incision made on the side of the neck where the abnormal gland was preoperatively located.
Main Outcome Measurements
Operative findings were compared with results of preoperative studies to determine the accuracy of sestamibi SPECT and CUS for successful MIP.
All 71 patients underwent preoperative sestamibi SPECT and CUS. Sestamibi scanning was accurate in 53 (75%) of 71 patients, whereas CUS was accurate in 40 (56%) in determining the side where the glands were located. Sestamibi scan and CUS findings were negative in 5 patients. These patients underwent planned bilateral neck exploration. Of the remaining 66 patients, MIP was successfully performed in 60 (91%). The CUS was complementary to sestamibi scanning in 9 (15%) of these 60 patients, allowing them to avoid bilateral neck exploration.
A positive sestamibi scan finding is the only preoperative requirement for most patients with primary hyperparathyroidism for MIP. If the sestamibi scan findings are negative or ambiguous, preoperative CUS can localize an additional 14% of enlarged parathyroid glands, further facilitating an MIP in these patients.