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J Am Coll Surg. 2015 Jun;220(6):994-1000. doi: 10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2015.01.004. Epub 2015 Jan 22.

Real-Time Super Selective Venous Sampling in Remedial Parathyroid Surgery.

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Department of Surgery, Section of Endocrine Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT.
Department of Radiology, Section of Vascular and Interventional Radiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT.
Department of Surgery, Section of Endocrine Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT. Electronic address:



Remedial cervical exploration for persistent or recurrent primary hyperparathyroidism can be technically difficult, but is expedited by accurate preoperative localization. We investigated the use of real-time super selective venous sampling (sSVS) in the setting of negative noninvasive imaging modalities.


We performed a retrospective analysis of a prospective database incorporating real-time sSVS in a tertiary academic medical center. Between September 2001 and April 2014, 3,643 patients were referred for surgical treatment of primary hyperparathyroidism. Of these, 31 represented remedial patients who had undergone one (n=28) or more (n=3) earlier cervical explorations and had noninformative, noninvasive preoperative localization studies.


We extended the use of the rapid parathyroid hormone assay in the interventional radiology suite, generating near real-time data facilitating onsite venous localization by a dedicated interventional radiologist. The predictive value of real-time sSVS localization was investigated. Overall, sSVS correctly predicted the localization of the affected gland in 89% of cases. Of 31 patients who underwent sSVS, a significant rapid parathyroid hormone gradient was identified in 28 (90%), localizing specific venous drainage of a culprit gland. All patients underwent subsequent surgery and were biochemically cured, with the exception of one who had metastatic parathyroid carcinoma. Three patients with negative sSVS were also explored and cured.


Preoperative parathyroid localization is of paramount importance in remedial cervical explorations. Real-time sSVS is a sensitive localization technique for patients with persistent or recurrent primary hyperparathyroidism, when traditional noninvasive imaging studies fail. These results validate the utility and benefit of real-time sSVS in guiding remedial parathyroid surgery.

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