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Clin Nephrol. 2001 Apr;55(4):303-8.

Arterial distensibility and pulse wave velocity in patients with primary hyperparathyroidism before and after parathyroidectomy.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine D (Nephrology), University Hospital, M√ľnster, Germany.



There is evidence that secondary hyperparathyroidism alters arterial vessel wall properties. However, it is unclear whether effects of parathyroid hormone (PTH) on the vascular wall are direct or permissive and related to hypertension and renal failure. To assess early direct effects of PTH on large artery wall properties isobaric distensibility (DC), pulse wave velocity (PWV) and intima-media thickness (IMT) were studied before and after parathyroidectomy (Ptx) in patients with primary hyperparathyroidism (pHPT).


DC and IMT of the brachial and carotid artery were measured by echo-tracking and tonometry, PWV by the automatic Complior-device at baseline and 6 months after Ptx in 20 patients with pHPT (data mean +/- SEM, age 45+/-5 years, PTH 240+/-61 ng/l). Cardiovascular risk factors like diabetes, hypertension, renal insufficiency and hypercholesterolemia were excluded. Twenty healthy volunteers matched for age, sex and blood pressure served as controls.


Six months after Ptx, PTH decreased to normal; however, blood pressure levels and vessel wall parameter remained unchanged. At baseline, there were no significant differences in brachial and carotid IMT (0.48+/-0.04 and 0.62+/-0.04 mm vs. 0.47+/-0.06 and 0.61+/-0.06 mm), radial and aortic PWV (9.1+/-0.4 and 9.9+/-0.7 m/s vs. 9.2+/-0.5 and 10.0+/-0.6 m/s), brachial and isobaric carotid DC (10.1+/-1.4 and 19.5+/-3.4 10(-3)/kPa vs. 9.1+/-0.9 and 20.4+/-3.2 10(-3)/kPa) or artery diameter between patients and controls.


Structural and viscoelastic properties of large arteries are not disturbed and not influenced by parathyroidectomy in patients with early pHPT devoid of hypertension and renal disease. We conclude that increased PTH levels per se are not associated with alterations of mechanical arteriall wall properties; permissive factors like renal insufficiency may be necessary to mediate vessel wall alterations in patients with hyperparathyroidism.

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