Learn About Parathyroid Hyperplasia

What is the definition of Parathyroid Hyperplasia?

Parathyroid hyperplasia is the enlargement of all 4 parathyroid glands. The parathyroid glands are located in the neck, near or attached to the back side of the thyroid gland.

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What are the alternative names for Parathyroid Hyperplasia?

Enlarged parathyroid glands; Osteoporosis - parathyroid hyperplasia; Bone thinning - parathyroid hyperplasia; Osteopenia - parathyroid hyperplasia; High calcium level - parathyroid hyperplasia; Chronic kidney disease - parathyroid hyperplasia; Kidney failure - parathyroid hyperplasia; Overactive parathyroid - parathyroid hyperplasia

What are the causes of Parathyroid Hyperplasia?

The parathyroid glands help control calcium absorption, use, and removal by the body. They do this by producing parathyroid hormone (PTH). PTH helps control calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D levels in the blood and bone. It is important for healthy bones.

Parathyroid hyperplasia may occur in people without a family history of the disease, or as part of 3 inherited syndromes:

  • Multiple endocrine neoplasia I (MEN I)
  • MEN IIA
  • Isolated familial hyperparathyroidism

In people with an inherited syndrome, a changed (mutated) gene is passed down through the family. You only need to get the gene from one parent to develop the condition.

  • In MEN I, problems in the parathyroid glands occur, as well as tumors in the pituitary gland and pancreas.
  • In MEN IIA, overactivity of the parathyroid glands occurs, along with tumors in the adrenal or thyroid gland.

Parathyroid hyperplasia that isn't part of an inherited syndrome is much more common. It occurs due to other medical conditions. The most common conditions that can cause parathyroid hyperplasia are chronic kidney disease and chronic vitamin D deficiency. In both cases, the parathyroid glands become enlarged because vitamin D and calcium levels are too low.

What are the symptoms of Parathyroid Hyperplasia?

Symptoms may include:

  • Bone fractures or bone pain
  • Constipation
  • Lack of energy
  • Muscle pain
  • Nausea
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What are the current treatments for Parathyroid Hyperplasia?

If parathyroid hyperplasia is due to kidney disease or low vitamin D level and it is found early, your provider may recommend that you take vitamin D, vitamin D-like drugs, and other medicines.

Surgery is usually done when the parathyroid glands are producing too much PTH and causing symptoms. Usually 3 1/2 glands are removed. The remaining tissue may be implanted in the forearm or neck muscle. This allows easy access to the tissue if symptoms come back. This tissue is implanted to prevent the body from having too little PTH, which can result in low calcium levels (from hypoparathyroidism).

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What is the outlook (prognosis) for Parathyroid Hyperplasia?

After surgery, high calcium level may persist or return. Surgery can sometimes cause hypoparathyroidism, which makes blood calcium level too low.

What are the possible complications of Parathyroid Hyperplasia?

Parathyroid hyperplasia can cause hyperparathyroidism, which leads to an increase in blood calcium level.

Complications include increased calcium in the kidneys, which can cause kidney stones, and osteitis fibrosa cystica (a softened, weak area in the bones).

Surgery can sometimes damage the nerves that control the vocal cords. This can affect the strength of your voice.

Complications may result from the other tumors that are part of the MEN syndromes.

When should I contact a medical professional for Parathyroid Hyperplasia?

Call your provider if:

  • You have any symptoms of hypercalcemia
  • You have a family history of a MEN syndrome
How do I prevent Parathyroid Hyperplasia?

If you have a family history of the MEN syndromes, you may want to have genetic screening to check for the defective gene. Those who have the defective gene may have routine screening tests to detect any early symptoms.

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What are the latest Parathyroid Hyperplasia Clinical Trials?
GROWing Up With Rare GENEtic Syndromes ….When Children With Complex Genetic Syndromes Reach Adult Age

Summary: Introduction Rare complex syndromes Patients with complex genetic syndromes, by definition, have combined medical problems affecting multiple organ systems, and intellectual disability is often part of the syndrome. During childhood, patients with rare genetic syndromes receive multidisciplinary and specialized medical care; they usually receive medical care from 3-4 medical specialists. Increased...

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Diagnostic Accuracy of 3T Unenhanced MR Imaging for the Detection of Parathyroid Lesions Before Surgery in Hemodialysis Patients With Secondary Hyperparathyroidism Comparison With 4DCT

Summary: Secondary hyperparathyroidism (SHPT) is a common serious complication in the maintenance process of hemodialysis patients, characterized by diffuse or nodular hyperplasia of parathyroid glands. Parathyroidectomy for patients with drug-refractory SHPT is recommended in the clinical practice guidelines of the Global Organization for Improving Prognosis in Kidney Disease (KDIGO) and the Japanese Dial...

What are the Latest Advances for Parathyroid Hyperplasia?
Ultrasound-guided thermal ablation for hyperparathyroidism: current status and prospects.
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Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date: April 29, 2022
Published By: Sandeep K. Dhaliwal, MD, board-certified in Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolism, Springfield, VA. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Reid LM, Kamani D, Randolph GW. Management of parathyroid disorders. In: Flint PW, Francis HW, Haughey BH, et al, eds. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 123.

Thakker RV. The parathyroid glands, hypercalcemia and hypocalcemia. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 232.