Hypothesis: Technetium Tc 99m sestamibi scintigraphy, intraoperative gamma probe detection, and the rapid parathyroid hormone assay have been used to permit a directed operation in patients with hyperparathyroidism. We hypothesized that the coordinated use of these techniques might be particularly useful in patients who require a second operation for hyperparathyroidism. Design: Retrospective analysis was performed to determine the specific contribution of these technologies to the surgical management of patients with hyperparathyroidism who underwent evaluation by at least 2 of these techniques between April 1996 and October 1999. Setting: Patients were evaluated and treated by an endocrine tumor surgery group within a tertiary care referral center. Patients: Coordinated application of 99mTc-sestamibi scintigraphy, intraoperative gamma probe detection, and/or the rapid parathyroid hormone assay was performed in 32 patients. Results: Twenty-eight of 32 patients had primary hyperparathyroidism, 3 had multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1, and 1 had secondary hyperparathyroidism. The surgical procedure was an initial cervical exploration in 19 and a second operative procedure in 13. Parathyroidectomy was successful in all patients. A directed anatomic operation was performed in 24 patients, including 11 patients who underwent second operative procedures and 9 patients who underwent minimally invasive procedures under local anesthesia. A directed operation was facilitated by sestamibi scan in 22 of 24 patients, intraoperative gamma probe detection in 5 of 23 patients, and the rapid parathyroid hormone assay in 15 of 15 patients. Conclusions: Coordinated application of 99mTc-sestamibi scintigraphy, intraoperative gamma probe detection, and the rapid parathyroid hormone assay allows for successful directed reoperative parathyroidectomy; a minimally invasive procedure may be performed in selected patients.
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