BACKGROUND - Progress in the diagnosis, localization of abnormal parathyroids, and intraoperative management of primary hyperparathyroidism has been observed over the past 34 years. The goal of this study is to report the outcome of patients undergoing 2 different operative approaches in a single institution, showing the evolution of surgical management of sporadic primary hyperparathyroidism (SPHPT).
METHODS - Parathyroidectomy was performed in 890 (827 initial, 63 reoperative) patients with SPHPT using 2 different approaches: traditional bilateral neck exploration (BNE, n = 396) or limited parathyroidectomy guided by parathormone dynamics (LPX, n = 494). Seven hundred eighteen patients (335 BNE, 383 LPX) followed > or = 6 months or identified as operative failures were studied. Operative failure is defined as hypercalcemia and high intact (1-84) parathyroid hormone molecule (iPTH) within 6 months after operation. Successful parathyroidectomy is normocalcemia for 6 months; hypercalcemia and elevated iPTH after this time is recurrent hyperparathyroidism.
RESULTS - There were 20 (6%) of 335 operative failures in the BNE group and 11 (3%) of 383 failures in the LPX group (P = 0.04). The incidence of multiglandular disease (MGD) determined by gland size (10%) versus hormone hypersecretion (3%) was statistically different (P < 0.001). Since most of the recurrences occurred later than 30 months, the incidence of recurrent hyperparathyroidism in patients followed for longer than 2.5 years was 4% (11/287) in the BNE group (average, 11.5 years) and 3% (5/183) in the LPX group (average, 4.2 years).
CONCLUSION - LPX, with its reported advantages of minimal dissection, shorter operative time, and use in ambulatory settings, compares favorably with the traditional BNE. Parathyroidectomy guided by parathormone dynamics has an improved success rate and should be considered as a standard operative approach in SPHPT.