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Metastatic parathyroid cancer: a rare cause of hypercalcaemia
  1. Dilhara Karunaratne1,
  2. Emma Owens2,
  3. Paul Kirkland1,
  4. Shiekh Ali Zainab Al3 and
  5. David Howlett2
  1. 1ENT, Eastbourne DGH, Eastbourne, UK
  2. 2Radiology, Eastbourne DGH, Eastbourne, UK
  3. 3Pathology, Eastbourne DGH, Eastbourne, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Dilhara Karunaratne; diliekaru{at}


A 45-year-old man presenting with abdominal pain was found to have severe hypercalcaemia with elevated parathyroid hormone. Investigations revealed a parathyroid mass and bone metastases consistent with metastatic parathyroid carcinoma. The patient underwent parathyroidectomy, with histology confirming a right inferior parathyroid carcinoma. His postoperative management was complicated by severe hypercalcaemia refractory to medical therapy, owing to the metastases continuing to produce parathyroid hormone. Despite palliative radiotherapy to the metastases, the patient died within 3 months from end-organ failure related to hypercalcaemia.

  • calcium and bone
  • endocrine cancer
  • radiotherapy
  • otolaryngology / ENT

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  • Contributors DK, PK and DH were behind the conception and design of the paper. DK wrote the first draft of the paper, supervised by PK who read and amended the first draft directly. DH and EO prepared the radiological images and wrote the radiological imaging intepretations and added it to the manuscript. ZASA acquired all the pathology samples and made the slides seen within the manuscript and wrote details about the histopathology which is included within the manuscript. All authors were involved in the writing, preparation and editing of the manuscript and have approved the final version.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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