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ANZ J Surg. 2002 Mar;72(3):200-3.

Primary hyperparathyroidism: referral patterns and outcomes of surgery.

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1
Department of General Surgery, North Shore Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Parathyroidectomy has long been established as an effective treatment for primary hyperparathyroidism (HPT).

METHODS:

A 15-year retrospective audit was made by surgeons at North Shore Hospital, Auckland, of 33 patients with primary HPT who had parathyroidectomy.

RESULTS:

There were 22 females and 11 males, ranging in age from 18 to 77 years (median 63 years). Initial diagnosis was predominantly by a general practitioner (72%), who invariably referred to a physician. Referral to surgery was made by general physicians (55%), endocrinologists (33%) and geriatricians (6%). Delay between diagnosis and referral for surgery ranged from 8 days to 10 years (median 7 months), and exceeded 2 years in 24% of patients. Twenty-eight (85%) were symptomatic: 13 (39%) had renal symptoms, 13 (39%) had bone disease, 10 (31%) had gastrointestinal complaints, seven (21%) had psychiatric illnesses and six (18%) had fatigue. The high incidence of symptoms was matched by high biochemical values (mean serum calcium level 2.97 mmol/L), and large parathyroid glands (mean weight 2001 mg). Twenty-nine patients (88%) had single adenomas, two (6%) had chief cell hyperplasia and two (6%) had carcinoma. Thirty-one (94%) were cured of their primary HPT.

CONCLUSIONS:

Parathyroidectomy is a safe and effective treatment for primary HPT but depends upon referral from non-surgical clinicians. A large proportion of patients have long delays before their surgery, and the group selected for surgery is referred with severe disease.

PMID:
12071452
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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