Journal Article

Assessment of ultrasound guided percutaneous ethanol injection and parathyroidectomy in patients with tertiary hyperparathyroidism.

S Fletcher, N S Kanagasundaram, H C Rayner, H C Irving, R C Fowler, A M Brownjohn, J H Turney, E J Will and A M Davison

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Volume 13, issue 12, pages 3111-3117
Published in print December 1998 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online December 1998 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI:
Assessment of ultrasound guided percutaneous ethanol injection and parathyroidectomy in patients with tertiary hyperparathyroidism.

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BACKGROUND: Tertiary hyperparathyroidism continues to cause significant morbidity in patients with chronic renal failure. This is frequently resistant to medical management and may ultimately require a surgical parathyroidectomy. Recent studies have reported upon the technique of percutaneous ethanol ablation for both primary and tertiary hyperparathyroidism. In this study we report on a 5 year experience using ethanol injection and compare the results with surgical parathyroidectomy. METHODS: A prospective study in 39 patients with tertiary hyperparathyroidism, 25 were dialysis dependent and 14 had a functioning renal allograft. Twenty-two patients underwent percutaneous fine needle ethanol injection (PFNEI) and 17 underwent surgical parathyroidectomy. RESULTS: A > 30% reduction in intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH) was achieved in 11 of 22 patients undergoing PFNEI after a mean of 1.8 +/- 1.4 injections per gland. In four patients, symptomatic hyperparathyroidism recurred and they required further PFNEI or surgical parathyroidectomy at 17, 28, 46, and 48 months later. There was no significant reduction in iPTH in 11 patients following PFNEI after a mean of 2.5 +/- 1.3 injections per gland. They all required a subsequent surgical parathyroidectomy for symptomatic hyperparathyroidism. Four patients developed a laryngeal nerve palsy following PFNEI, two of which were permanent. Seventeen patients underwent successful surgical parathyroidectomy as a primary procedure. CONCLUSION: Whilst PFNEI is successful in primary hyperparathyroidism, when typically only one adenoma is present, the effectiveness of PFNEI is unpredictable and the long term results are poor compared with those of surgical parathyroidectomy in tertiary hyperparathyroidism. The procedure is not without complications and makes subsequent surgery more difficult. Therefore it can only be recommended for patients with a known single parathyroid gland such as patients in whom hyperparathyroidism has recurred following a previous surgical subtotal parathyroidectomy and who are unsuitable for further surgery.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Nephrology

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