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The role of ultrasound and nuclear medicine methods in the preoperative diagnostics of primary hyperparathyroidism

Michał Nieciecki1, Marek Cacko1, Leszek Królicki1,2

Affiliation and address for correspondence
J Ultrason 2015; 15: 398–409
DOI: 10.15557/JoU.2015.0037

Primary hyperparathyroidism (PH) represents one of the most common endocrine diseases. In most cases, the disorder is caused by parathyroid adenomas. Bilateral neck exploration has been a widely used treatment method for adenomas since the 20’s of the twentieth century. In the last decade, however, it has been increasingly replaced by a minimally invasive surgical treatment. Smaller extent, shorter duration and lower complication rate of such a procedure are emphasized. Its efficacy depends on a precise location of parathyroid tissue during the preoperative imaging. Scintigraphy and ultrasound play a major role in the diagnostic algorithms. The efficacy of both methods has been repeatedly verified and compared. The still-current guidelines of the European Association of Nuclear Medicine (2009) emphasize the complementary role of scintigraphy and ultrasonography in the preoperative diagnostics in patients with primary hyperparathyroidism. At the same time, attempts are made to improve both these techniques by implementing new study protocols or innovative technologies. Publications have emerged in the recent years in the field of ultrasonography, whose authors pointed out the usefulness of elastography and contrast media. Nuclear medicine studies, on the other hand, focus mainly on the assessment of new radiotracers used in the positron emission tomography (PET). The aim of this article is to present, based on literature data, the possibilities of ultrasound and scintigraphy in the preoperative diagnostics in patients with primary hyperparathyroidism. Furthermore, the main directions in the development of imaging techniques in PH patients were evaluated.

hyperparathyroidism, ultrasonography, scintigraphy, PET