Hypothesis: Secondary hyperparathyroidism decreases renal clearance of parathyroid hormone (PTH). Objective: To determine whether rapid PTH assays can be used to predict the success of a total parathyroidectomy to treat symptomatic secondary hyperparathyroidism. Design: Case series from August 1 to December 31, 2000. Setting: Tertiary referral center. Participants: Patients with symptomatic secondary hyperparathyroidism (n=24) who underwent total parathyroidectomy and autotransplantation were included in the study. Interventions: Blood samples for rapid PTH analyses were drawn from an indwelling catheter at the induction of anesthesia (baseline) and before (0 minutes), 10 minutes, and 30 minutes after the removal of the last parathyroid gland. Regular intact PTH (iPTH) assays were conducted later. Main Outcome Measure: If a patient's regular iPTH levels were below 65 pg/mL at 1 week or 3 months postoperatively, the operation was considered successful. Results: All 24 patients had successful operations. Rapid PTH and regular iPTH correlated significantly at 0, 10, and 30 minutes. Rapid PTH levels decreased significantly at each time period and were 176±40.9 pg/mL (mean±SE) at 10 minutes. The percentage decrease in rapid PTH levels was 39.5%±12.7% at 0 minutes, 75.1%±6.2% at 10 minutes, and 91.0%±O.1% at 3O minutes (mean±SE). A decrease of 60% or more from baseline PTH levels at 10 minutes and/or a decrease of 85% or more at 30 minutes predicted the successful removal of all parathyroid glands. Conclusions: A drop in PTH levels is delayed until 30 minutes after total parathyroidectomy; however, a rapid PTH assay 10 minutes after the removal of the last parathyroid gland is as accurate as an assay performed at 30 minutes postoperatively. Intraoperative PTH monitoring demonstrates relevant decreases in rapid PTH levels after parathyroidectomy that are similar to those previously documented in patients with primary hyperparathyroidism.
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