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Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2012;67 Suppl 1:155-60.

Surgical approach in patients with hyperparathyroidism in multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1: total versus partial parathyroidectomy.

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Surgical Unit, Department of Clinical Physiopathology, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.


Usually, primary hyperparathyroidism is the first endocrinopathy to be diagnosed in patients with multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1, and is also the most common one. The timing of the surgery and strategy in multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1/hyperparathyroidism are still under debate. The aims of surgery are to: 1) correct hypercalcemia, thus preventing persistent or recurrent hyperparathyroidism; 2) avoid persistent hypoparathyroidism; and 3) facilitate the surgical treatment of possible recurrences. Currently, two types of surgical approach are indicated: 1) subtotal parathyroidectomy with removal of at least 3-3 K glands; and 2) total parathyroidectomy with grafting of autologous parathyroid tissue. Transcervical thymectomy must be performed with both of these procedures. Unsuccessful surgical treatment of hyperparathyroidism is more frequently observed in multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 than in sporadic hyperparathyroidism. The recurrence rate is strongly influenced by: 1) the lack of a pre-operative multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 diagnosis; 2) the surgeon's experience; 3) the timing of surgery; 4) the possibility of performing intra-operative confirmation (histologic examination, rapid parathyroid hormone assay) of the curative potential of the surgical procedure; and, 5) the surgical strategy. Persistent hyperparathyroidism seems to be more frequent after subtotal parathyroidectomy than after total parathyroidectomy with autologous graft of parathyroid tissue. Conversely, recurrent hyperparathyroidism has a similar frequency in the two surgical strategies. To plan further operations, it is very helpful to know all the available data about previous surgery and to undertake accurate identification of the site of recurrence.

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