Evaluation of parathyroid hyperplasia by ultrasonographic examination in patients with end-stage renal failure before and at initiation of dialysis


  • Accepted for publication 2 December 2002.

Professor Yasuhiko Tomino, Division of Nephrology, Department of Internal Medicine, Juntendo University School of Medicine, 2-1-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8421, Japan. Email: yasu@med.juntendo.ac.jp


SUMMARY:  Secondary hyperparathyroidism (2HPT), which is related to renal osteodystrophy (ROD), may occur in patients in the comparatively early stage of chronic renal failure (CRF). Secondary hyperparathyroidism patients with parathyroid hyperplasia showed resistance to vitamin D3 treatment during long-term dialysis. At present, evaluation by ultrasonography is considered to be useful for confirming parathyroid hyperplasia. There are no clinical data associated with imaging evaluation of 2HPT in CRF patients. In the present study, the relationship among clinical and biochemical data, and parathyroid hyperplasia by ultrasonography, was evaluated in 12 patients (six males and six females) with end-stage renal failure (ESRF) before and at initiation of dialysis. Five patients showed an enlargement of parathyroid glands in ultrasonography. Levels of serum-intact parathyroid hormone (PTH) in patients with parathyroid hyperplasia (positive group) were significantly higher than in those without hyperplasia (negative group; 97.6 ± 36.65 vs 17.4 ± 4.45 pmol/L; P < 0.05). The levels of intact PTH were above 35.0 pmol/L in all five patients with hyperplasia. All patients in the positive group had never taken vitamin D3 supplements. Calcium-containing phosphate binders were not prescribed before the present study, except in one patient. Parathyroid hyperplasia caused by 2HPT was recognized in patients before and at initiation of dialysis in this study. It appears that untreated 2HPT in CRF patients may progress to advanced 2HPT in ESRF before and/or after the early stage of dialysis. The levels of serum intact PTH are useful in predicting parathyroid hyperplasia.