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Background. Most abnormal parathyroid glands can be removed through the neck, but those deep in the chest have required sternotomy or thoracotomy. To avoid the morbidity of these open procedures, ectopic parathyroid glands deep in the chest were removed with video-assisted thoracoscopy.
Methods. Two patients with persistent primary and two with persistent secondary hyperparathyroidism had technetium-thallium scintigraphy and computed tomography of the chest to localize their ectopic glands. Video-assisted thoracoscopy was used for operative removal of these glands in each patient.
Results. Parathyroid scans identified a mediastinal gland that was confirmed and localized precisely by the computed tomography scan. An enlarged ectopic gland weighing 1 to 2 gm was removed from each patient with normalization of serum calcium level. Glands were found by the main pulmonary artery, aortopulmonary window, ascending aorta, and aortic arch. One patient had recurrent disease 9 months later.
Conclusions. Removal of parathyroid glands deep in the chest with video-assisted thoracoscopy is a safe and successful alternative to median sternotomy.
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☆Presented at the Fifteenth Annual Meeting of the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons, Dearborn, Mich., April 17–19, 1994.
© 1994 Published by Elsevier Inc.