The gold standard to determine the cause of primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) is bilateral neck exploration. As most cases are caused by parathyroid adenoma, there is a movement toward preoperative localization of the abnormal gland by ultrasound and/or Tc(99)-sestamibi scan and minimally invasive parathyroidectomy. Nonpalpable thyroid nodules are common and cannot be differentiated from parathyroid lesions by imaging alone. This study examines cytopathologist-performed ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration (UG-FNA) in diagnosis of parathyroid lesions. Between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2008, seven patients with PHPT or other parathyroid lesions with one or more sonographically-visible thyroid masses underwent cytopathologist-performed UG-FNA with immediate cytological evaluation (ICE). One mass was palpable and nine were nonpalpable. Three parathyroid adenomas, two benign colloid nodules, one papillary carcinoma, three parathyroid cysts, and one thyroid cyst were diagnosed. The nodules in three patients with parathyroid adenomas were identified as follicular lesion/neoplasm on ICE. Additional UG-FNA passes were made to obtain tissue for immunohistochemistry stains, which confirmed parathyroid origin. Two of these patients had a separate benign colloid nodule and one had a thyroid cyst diagnosed by UG-FNA. The PHPT patient with papillary carcinoma on UG-FNA had the malignancy confirmed at surgery and a sonographically occult parathyroid adenoma. The three patients with thyroid cysts identified by radiology were suspected of being parathyroid cysts on the basis of real-time sonographic features at the biopsy table. The clear cyst fluid obtained by UG-FNA had markedly elevated PTH. Cytopathologist-performed UG-FNA can distinguish between parathyroid and thyroid nodules in patients with suspected parathyroid lesions.
"FNA cytology of the parathyroid might be misdiagnosed as Hürthle cell associated lesions of thyroid such as Hürthle cell thyroid neoplasm [9, 15–17]; adenomatous thyroid nodules with Hürthle cell change; or chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis  because they might share some cytomorphologic similarities such as follicular structures, colloid-like material in the background . Moreover, the presence of oncocytic cells and naked nuclei of chief cells in parathyroid cytologic specimen can be mimicking Hürthle cells and lymphocytes, respectively [19, 20]. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background. Fine-needle aspiration (FNA) can cause misdiagnosis of cytomorphological findings between parathyroid and thyroid lesions. Case Presentation. A 31-year-old man presented with a palpable neck mass on the right thyroid lobe. FNA cytology was reported as intrathyroidal lymphoid hyperplasia. After 5 years, repeated FNA was done on the enlarged nodule with result of Hürthle cell lesion. Prior to right lobectomy, laboratories revealed elevated serum calcium and parathyroid hormone (PTH). Careful history taking revealed chronic knee pain and ossifying fibroma at the maxilla. Ultrasonography showed a 2.8 cm mass inferior to right thyroid lobe. Pathology from en bloc resection was parathyroid carcinoma and immunohistochemical study revealed positivity for PTH. Genetic analysis found somatic mutation of CDC73 gene in exon1 (c.70delG) which caused premature stop codon in amino acid 26 (p.Glu24Lysfs*2). The final diagnosis was hyperparathyroidism-jaw tumor syndrome. Conclusions. FNA cytology of parathyroid can mimic thyroid lesion. It is important to consider and correlate the entire information from clinical history, laboratory, imaging, and FNA.
Case Reports in Endocrinology 08/2014; 2014:680876. DOI:10.1155/2014/680876
"As neck ultrasonography is often used to make the differential diagnosis, parathyroid adenoma is sometimes mistaken for a thyroid nodule, resulting in the wrongful use of fine needle aspiration cytology . Even pathology departments sometimes fail to distinguish thyroid tissue from parathyroid tissue, as they make the determination based on the histology of the cells in the sample obtained by fine needle aspiration; they may miss the diagnosis of parathyroid adenoma when there is no clinical information about existing parathyroid disease . The first choice of treatment for parathyroid adenoma is surgical excision, and when done by a skilled surgeon, the full recovery rate is 95% to 98%, which is comparatively high, while the rate of side effects is 1% to 3% . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Primary hyperparathyroidism occurs as a result of isolated parathyroid adenoma in 80% to 85% of all cases. A (99m)technetium ((99m)Tc) sestamibi scan or neck ultrasonography is used to localize the neoplasm prior to surgical intervention. A 53-year-old female was referred for the exclusion of metabolic bone disease. She presented with low back pain that had persisted for the past 6 months and elevated serum alkaline phosphatase (1,253 IU/L). Four years previously, she had been diagnosed at a local hospital with a 2.3-cm thyroid nodule, which was determined to be pathologically benign. Radiofrequency ablation was performed at the same hospital because the nodule was still growing during the follow-up period 2 years before the visit to our hospital, and the procedure was unsuccessful in reducing the size of the nodule. The results of the laboratory tests in our hospital were as follows: serum calcium, 14.6 mg/dL; phosphorus, 3.5 mg/dL; and intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH), 1,911 pg/mL. Neck ultrasonography and (99m)Tc sestamibi scan detected a 5-cm parathyroid neoplasm in the left lower lobe of the patient's thyroid; left parathyroidectomy was performed. This case indicated that thyroid ultrasonographers and pathologists need to be experienced enough to differentiate a parathyroid neoplasm from a thyroid nodule; (99m)Tc sestamibi scan, serum calcium, and iPTH levels can help to establish the diagnosis of parathyroid neoplasm.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Some have suggested that thyroid disease is even more prevalent among patients with hyperparathyroidism (HPT) than in the general population. We sought to define the incidence and optimal management strategies of thyroid disease in patients undergoing surgery for HPT.
Clinical characteristics were reviewed for 1200 consecutive HPT patients treated at two endocrine surgery referral centers from 1992-2003. Both centers practice bilateral neck exploration, and one routinely obtains preoperative neck ultrasound (US) performed by surgeons.
Forty percent (477/1195) of HPT patients had coexisting thyroid disease, whether identified at parathyroidectomy (39%; 327/845) or by US (43%; 150/350). Colloid nodules/goiters accounted for nearly half of thyroid pathology, followed by follicular adenomas, papillary cancer, thyroiditis, and intrathyroidal parathyroids. Thyroid malignancy was found in 4.6% of HPT patients versus less than 1% in autopsy reports. Thyroid pathology was similar among single adenomas, multigland, and renal HPT. Unexpected thyroid disease first encountered at parathyroidectomy required partial or total thyroidectomy in 30% (257/845). US-detected thyroid nodules prompted fine-needle biopsy in 20%, which was cost effective in limiting concomitant thyroid surgery to fewer patients (6%; 21/350). Overall low incidence (<0.5%) of persistent/recurrent HPT, nerve injury, and neck hematoma was unaffected by thyroid abnormalities.
The high prevalence of thyroid disease, especially malignancies, among HPT patients mandates vigilant diagnosis and preparation for possible simultaneous parathyroid-thyroid surgery. Without appropriate preoperative screening, focal explorations for HPT may be prone to delayed diagnosis of thyroid tumors. Ultrasound performed by surgeons or endocrinologists preoperatively is an excellent diagnostic tool and minimizes unnecessary thyroidectomy in patients with subclinical thyroid disease.
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