Background: Primary hyperparathyroidism is a biochemical, not radiologic diagnosis. Parathyroid scintigraphy should only be requested for surgical planning, not to confirm diagnosis. Here we determined reasons for inappropriately ordered parathyroid scintigraphy. Methods: We generated a database of patients undergoing parathyroid scintigraphy over 5 years, who did not undergo parathyroidectomy. Results: Over 5 years 129 parathyroid scintigraphies (of 308 total scans) were performed in patients who did not undergo parathyroidectomy. We determined that only 58 (45%) had true primary hyperparathyroidism. The most common reason for the scan was to “confirm the diagnosis.” Only 20% were ordered for adenoma localization, although surgery was not performed. Physicians requesting parathyroid scintigraphies specialized in a variety of disciplines. Conclusion: Forty-two percent of parathyroid scintigraphies were requested inappropriately to “confirm” a diagnosis of primary hyperparathyroidism. We propose to change the ordering system to clarify that parathyroid scintigraphy is a functional tool to optimize surgery when the diagnosis is secure.
- parathyroid adenoma
- preoperative localization
- primary hyperparathyroidism
- secondary hyperparathyroidism
ASJC Scopus subject areas