Are Tc-99m-Sestamibi Scans in Patients With Secondary Hyperparathyroidism and Renal Failure Needed?

Academic Article


  • Background: Parathyroidectomy for patients with secondary hyperparathyroidism (sHPT) generally requires a four-gland exploration. Some groups have strongly recommended routine preoperative Tc-99m-sestamibi scans; others practice scanning for only selected patients. To determine the utility of sestamibi scans in this patient population, we reviewed our experience. Methods: We performed a retrospective review of patients who underwent parathyroidectomy for sHPT by one surgeon between 2000 and 2018. Data reviewed included patient demographics, laboratory results, pathology and radiology reports, and clinical and operative notes. Results: Of the 72 patients in the cohort, mean age was 47.2 ± 15.6, and 50% were female. The preoperative mean calcium and parathyroid hormone levels were 9.6 ± 1.1 mg/dL and 1192.1 ± 914.1 pg/mL, respectively. Sestamibi scans were performed in 21 patients (29%). Of these, 17 were reoperative cases. Of all sHPT patients, 27.8% had ectopic glands. In the sestamibi cohort, only four patients had ectopic glands identified on the scan. Among the 51 patients without preoperative imaging, 16 had ectopic glands (26.2% of nonimaged patients). All these 16 ectopic glands were found by the surgeon at the time of operation without the need for preoperative imaging. All patients in the series were cured with a minimum follow-up of 6 mo. Conclusions: Ectopic parathyroid glands are commonly seen in patients undergoing parathyroidectomy for sHPT. The majority of ectopic glands were successfully identified during the operation without preoperative sestamibi scan. Therefore, routine preoperative Tc-99m-sestamibi scans are not needed for successful parathyroidectomy for sHPT.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Jones BA; Lindeman B; Chen H
  • Start Page

  • 380
  • End Page

  • 383
  • Volume

  • 243