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Resection of an elusive parathyroid adenoma in the aortopulmonary window


Primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) is the most common cause of hypercalcaemia and is caused by a single parathyroid adenoma in the neck in 85% or more of patients. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines published in May 2019 advise that preoperative imaging is offered prior to parathyroid surgery for PHPT if it will inform surgical approach. If imaging, typically a neck ultrasound and a second modality that may use ionising radiation, does not identify the adenoma or is discordant, it is advised that surgery is performed by a surgeon with expertise in the management of unlocalised parathyroid disease.The cure rate in such cases is over 96%. Occasionally, however, PHPT cure can be challenging.

A woman in her late 40s presented with bilateral renal calculi and was found to have PHPT. Following false positive imaging and three non-curative surgical procedures, removal of a supernumerary ectopic parathyroid adenoma in the aortopulmonary window via sternotomy achieved definitive cure.

  • Head and neck surgery
  • Cardiothoracic surgery
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrine system

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