Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Surg. 2010 Dec;200(6):701-5; discussion 705-6. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2010.06.012.

The number of needle passes affects the accuracy of parathyroid hormone assay with intraoperative parathyroid aspiration.

Author information

  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85724, USA.



Intraoperative aspiration of a nodule and parathyroid hormone (PTH) assay has been shown to accurately confirm parathyroid tissue. However, the reported aspiration technique varies in the literature. We sought to determine if the number of passes affected the accuracy of PTH analysis.


A prospective analysis was performed on 25 consecutive patients who underwent a parathyroidectomy for primary hyperparathyroidism. The excised parathyroid gland was aspirated using 1, 3, and 5 passes. The data were analyzed using the Wilcoxon rank, chi-square, and Fisher exact tests to calculate the 2-tailed P value.


Of the 26 glands aspirated, the mean PTH value varied with the number of passes, 2,073 pg/mL for 1 pass, 2,347 for 3 passes, and 2,695 for 5 passes (P = .02). Accuracy was dependent on the number of passes, with 5 passes (P = .018) having less PTH variation than 1 or 3 passes.


Aspiration of nodules to determine the PTH level helps confirm the presence of parathyroid tissue. The number of needle passes affects the accuracy of the PTH level, with 5 passes being the optimal number of passes to attain no false-negative results.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center