The prevalence of undiagnosed and unrecognized primary hyperparathyroidism: A population-based analysis from the electronic medical record

Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH
Surgery (Impact Factor: 3.38). 12/2013; 154(6):1232–1238. DOI: 10.1016/j.surg.2013.06.051


The electronic medical record (EMR) of a large, tertiary referral center was examined to study the prevalence of undiagnosed and unrecognized primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT).

The EMR was queried for outpatient serum calcium >10.5 mg/dL over a 2-year period.

Of 2.7 million patients, 54,198 (2%) had hypercalcemia (>10.5 mg/dL). In a 2-year sample of 7,269 patients, 1.3% (95 patients) had a recorded diagnosis of PHPT, and 0.3% (16 patients) had parathyroidectomy. Of the remaining patients, parathyroid hormone (PTH) values were recorded in 32% (2,337 patients). Of patients with PTH measured, 71% (1,662 patients) had PHPT (PTH > 30 pg/mL). Patients with calcium of 11.1–11.5 mg/dL were most likely to have PHPT (55%). Patients with calcium >12 mg/dL were most likely to have PTH measured (52%). Of hypercalcemic patients, 67% never had PTH obtained, 28% of whom were likely to have PHPT. It is estimated that 43% of hypercalcemic patients are likely to have PHPT. The estimated prevalence of PHPT in the general population is 0.86%.

PHPT is a more common disorder than previously documented. It is crucial to evaluate even mild hypercalcemia, because 43% of these patients have PHPT. PHPT is underdiagnosed and undertreated.

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  • Surgery 12/2013; 154(6):1230-1. DOI:10.1016/j.surg.2013.05.042 · 3.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) is a disease process traditionally thought to present during middle age, but can occur at any age. The purpose of this study was to compare PHPT patient characteristics based on patient age at the time of surgical referral. Methods A retrospective review of a prospectively managed database of adult patients undergoing parathyroid surgery for PHPT was conducted. Patients with a negative family history, no previous parathyroid surgery, and ≥6-mo follow-up were included. Patients were grouped by age for comparison. Results From 2001–2012, 1372 patients met inclusion criteria. Age groups were as follows: ≤50 y, 51–60 y, 61–70 y, and >70 y. Female predominance increased with age (P > 0.01). Baseline serum parathyroid hormone levels were higher at the extremes of age (P < 0.001). Young patients had the highest serum calcium (P < 0.01), urinary calcium (P < 0.001), and T-score (P < 0.001) measures, and greater incidence of vitamin D deficiency (P = 0.03). The use of local anesthesia increased with age, whereas use of outpatient parathyroidectomy decreased with age (both P < 0.01). Rates of disease persistence (2.3%–2.9%, P = 0.95) and recurrence (2.1%–3.3%, P = 0.75) were low, and did not differ. Conclusions Patients at the extremes of age are referred with more elevated laboratory indices whereas those in the traditional age range have milder biochemical indices. This may result from differential surgical referral. Individuals with laboratory evidence of abnormal calcium and parathyroid hormone regulation should be evaluated for parathyroidectomy regardless of age because all ages can be successfully treated.
    Journal of Surgical Research 07/2014; 190(1):185–190. DOI:10.1016/j.jss.2014.04.010 · 1.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tinea capitis attained epidemical proportions in the fifth and sixth decades in Portugal, as in other countries. Before starting the utilization of griseofulvin in 1959, the best approach to treat tinea capitis infection was X-ray scalp epilation combined with topical antimycotic ointments. A long-term side effect of this therapy is thyroid disease, namely thyroid cancer; data on parathyroid lesions (hyperplasia, adenoma and carcinoma) are scarce. We observed clinically 1,375 individuals irradiated in childhood for tinea capitis treatment in the North of Portugal with the main purpose of evaluating thyroid and parathyroid tumours as possible sequelae of the irradiation treatment. For each individual, a cervical ultrasound and a serum calcium measurement were proposed. Fine needle aspiration cytology was suggested whenever ultrasound thyroid nodules presented suspicious features. We observed a 54 % frequency of thyroid nodules and a 2.8 % frequency of thyroid carcinoma (38/1,375). Nineteen of the 38 (50 %) carcinomas were diagnosed by us, whereas the remaining 19 carcinomas had been diagnosed and treated prior to our observation. The carcinomas were significantly more frequent in women than in men. Benign excised lesions were also significantly more frequent in women and in patients irradiated at younger ages. Seven women, considered asymptomatic until our clinical observation, had laboratory signs of hyperparathyroidism. The data we have obtained, namely high thyroid cancer frequency, corroborate previous data from childhood irradiated cohorts and highlight the need for the close follow-up of these populations in order to identify and treat early undiagnosed head and neck lesions. No evidence of increased parathyroid disease was found in this cohort of head and neck X-irradiated patients.
    Archiv für Pathologische Anatomie und Physiologie und für Klinische Medicin 08/2014; 465(4). DOI:10.1007/s00428-014-1644-0 · 2.65 Impact Factor
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