Preoperative evaluation of patients with parathyroid adenoma: Role of high-resolution ultrasonography

David Ulanovski*, Raphael Feinmesser, Maya Cohen, Jaqueline Sulkes, Mickey Dudkiewicz, Thomas Shpitzer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Unilateral parathyroid exploration with adenoma removal and identification of a normal parathyroid gland is a controversial surgical approach to the treatment of primary hyperparathyroidism. The aim of this study was to evaluate the ability of high-resolution ultrasonography to localize adenomas preoperatively and to assess the effect of such localization on operative time. Methods. One hundred twenty consecutive previously nonoperated patients with primary hyperparathyroidism underwent ultrasonography before surgery, which consisted of unilateral neck exploration. The procedure was changed to bilateral exploration when justified by the surgical findings. Results. The sensitivity and positive predictive value of the ultrasonographic examinations were 89% and 98%, respectively. These results were obtained regardless of the size of the adenoma. No significant difference was found in the presence of thyroid multinodular disease (p = .2). A positive sonographic examination decreased the operative time to an average of 59 minutes. The average size of the adenomas was 19 mm (range, 4-55 mm). A positive and highly statistically significant correlation was found between adenoma size and both preoperative calcium level (p =.01) and parathyroid hormone level (p =.0001). Conclusions. In experienced hands, high-resolution ultrasonography can be a cost-effective means of localizing parathyroid adenomas when unilateral neck exploration is considered the acceptable surgical approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Parathyroid adenoma
  • Ultrasonography


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