• Parathyroid hormone;
  • hyperparathyroidism diagnosis;
  • minimally invasive methods


Objective: In a large series of patients, we associated the need for preoperative parathyroid hormone (PTH) and calcium levels as a vital component in our approach to the radioguided minimally invasive parathyroidectomy (MIRP) procedure. Our objective was to determine whether these preoperative levels indeed complemented the procedure. Our study also included a postoperative assessment of excised gland volume and length of operation.

Study Design: This was a prospective cohort study.

Methods: One hundred seventy-three patients with primary hyperparathyroidism enrolled in our radioguided MIRP protocol. Patients were divided into groups based on the results of sestamibi scans. Comparisons were made between these results and the assessed preoperative PTH and calcium levels and the postoperative excised gland volume and length of operation.

Results: PTH and calcium levels did not statistically relate with the likelihood of having a “positive,” “equivocal,” or “negative” sestamibi scan, but the volume of excised gland was significantly different among the three groups (P < .01). There was no significant difference between positive and equivocal scans (P = .40). Operative time was significantly different between positive and equivocal scans (P < .01), positive and negative scans (P < .01), and equivocal and negative scans (P < .01).

Conclusions: Routine preoperative PTH and calcium levels are necessary for the biologic diagnosis of hyperparathyroidism, but they do not appear to relate to the outcome of a sestamibi scan and therefore do not complement the radioguided MIRP procedure. Because the size of the affected gland, however, did correlate with a positive sestamibi scan, we conclude that as the volume of the gland increases, so does the likelihood of a successfully chosen minimally invasive surgical approach.