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World J Surg. 2000 May;24(5):564-9; discussion 569-70.

Outcome after surgery for primary hyperparathyroidism: ten-year prospective follow-up study.

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Department of General and Abdominal Surgery, Johannes Gutenberg-Universit├Ąt Mainz, Germany.


Clinical outcome after surgery for primary hyperparathyroidism was evaluated in a prospective long-term, follow-up study. From August 1, 1987 to August 31, 1998 a total of 360 patients were prospectively investigated and included in a follow-up study. All patients underwent follow-up examinations at regular surveillance intervals. The postoperative course is known for 94.5% of all patients. Follow-up was 1 month to 10 years (median 24 months; mean 34.5 +/- 29.8 months). Asymptomatic primary hyperparathyroidism was rare (6%), and its true frequency could be confirmed only postoperatively because some of the patients were unaware of mild symptoms of hypercalcemic syndrome prior to surgery. Surgical cure was obtained in 97.7% of patients after initial cervical exploration; and successful parathyroidectomy provided long-term relief of symptoms. Within 2 years postoperatively, 84% of the patients recovered fully from hypercalcemic syndrome: in 58% of these patients recovery occurred within the first month after surgery. Skeletal symptoms persisted in 24% of patients 2 years postoperatively. To date no patient has developed recurrence of primary hyperparathyroidism. During follow-up in our study population mortality was significantly higher than the expected mortality risk for the German population as a whole (p = 0.00024). The present prospective follow-up study yielded conclusive outcome research data after operative therapy for primary hyperparathyroidism. The high cure rate and low morbidity, as well as the increased mortality, in our study population during follow-up after successful operative therapy for the disease emphasize the importance of early diagnosis and early surgical treatment for primary hyperparathyroidism, even in the absence of manifest symptoms.

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