Central Surgical Association| Volume 82, ISSUE 3, P296-302, September 1977

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Radiation-associated hyperparathyroidism: A new syndrome?

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      In a series of 89 patients operated for primary hyperparathyroidism in the last 12 years, 27 (30%) had a history of radiation therapy to the head and neck for benign disease in infancy, childhood, adolescence or young adulthood: 13 male and 14 female patients. In six patients the total administered radiation dose was known to range between 300 and 750 rads (air). Thirteen patients had a single parathyroid adenoma and 14 had parathyroid hyperplasia or multiglandular disease. Thyroid carcinoma was associated with hyperparathyroidism in four patients, and six had benign thyroid tumors. No discernible thyroid abnormality was present in the other 17 patients. A history of radiation to the head and neck in a high proportion of patients with hyperparathyroidism, both in conjunction with thyroid tumors and in the absence of thyroid pathology, suggests that exposure of the parathyroids to radiation may play an etiologic role in the development of hyperparathyroidism in some patients with this disease.
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