Background: Tertiary hyperparathyroidism following kidney transplantation is most commonly characterized by 4-gland hyperplasia, but single and double adenomatous disease has been demonstrated in this population as well. It is unknown whether preoperative imaging can assist in identifying patients who may qualify for focused surgery for adenomatous disease. Materials and methods: We performed a retrospective review of our patient database from 1998–2018 for patients with tertiary hyperparathyroidism following renal transplant. Patient charts were reviewed for patient demographics, laboratory values, preoperative imaging, operative findings, pathology, and complications. Results: We identified 113 patients with tertiary hyperparathyroidism following renal transplant who underwent parathyroidectomy. There were 51 females and 62 males with a mean age of 53.4 ± 13.4 years. Median preoperative calcium and PTH were 10.9 mg/dl (IQR 10.3–11.2) and 228 pg/ml (IQR 118–305). Preoperative ultrasound was performed in 60 patients. Of these, 11 (18%) were negative, 38 (63%) showed 1–2 adenomas, and 11 (18%) showed ≥ 3 adenomas. 99mTc-sestamibi parathyroid scintigraphy was performed in 101/113 patients. Of these, 11 (11%) were negative, 62 (61%) showed 1–2 areas of discordant sestamibi uptake, and 28 (28%) showed ≥ 3 areas of discordant uptake. Ultimately, 19 (17%) patients had a single adenoma removed, 16 (14%) had 2 adenomas removed, and (69%) had multi-gland disease. There were 26 ectopic glands found in 21 patients, 42.3% of which were identified on preoperative imaging. 94.1% of patients were eucalcemic at last follow-up, mean (± SD) 5.8 ± 3.6 years. Adenomas that were visualized on ultrasound were larger on pathology than those non-visualized (997 ± 120 mg (mean ± SE) vs. 388 ± 109 mg, p = 0.0003). This was also true for parathyroid scintigraphy (647 ± 41 mg vs. 355 ± 51 mg, p = 0.0001). Conclusion: In patients with tertiary hyperparathyroidism, preoperative imaging can aid in predicting which patients will have 1–2 gland disease. In patients with 1–2 gland disease on congruent ultrasound and nuclear medicine imaging studies, the accuracy increases to 59%. Preoperative imaging can help identify ectopic glands. Larger adenomas are more likely to be identified on both imaging modalities.
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