Ultrasound images Hyperparathyroidism

The ultrasound images of (normally) four parathyroid glands in the neck regulate calcium metabolism in the body. Patients with primary hyperparathyroidism (due to an adenoma or hyperplasia of one or more of the parathyroid glands) have hypercalcaemia, which makes them prone to nephrocalcinosis or stones in the kidneys.
Secondary hyperparathyroidism is associated with chronic renal failure; hypocalcaemia, which results from the chronic renal failure, induces compensatory hyperplasia of the parathyroid glands. There is a high incidence of hyperparathyroidism secondary to chronic renal failure in patients on dialysis; scintigraphy may demonstrate the region of increased activity and ultrasound is particularly suitable for demonstrating the enlarged parathyroid, guiding a diagnostic aspiration and, if necessary, ablating the gland with ethanol as an alternative to surgical removal. Alcohol ablation is generally reserved for those patients deemed to be a poor surgical risk.

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