Parathyroid hyperplasia is the enlargement of all four parathyroid glands. The parathyroid glands are glands in the neck that produce parathyroid hormone (PTH).
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Parathyroid hyperplasia may occur in people without a family history of the disease, or as part of three inherited syndromes:
Multiple endocrine neoplasia I (MEN I) MEN IIA
- Isolated familial
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 are due to tumors in the pituitary gland and pancreas.
- In MEN IIA, overactivity of the parathyroid glands is due to tumors in the adrenal or thyroid gland.
Symptoms may include:
Bone fractures Constipation Lethargy
- Muscle pain
Signs and tests
Blood tests will be done to check calcium,
Bone x-rays and a
Surgery is the preferred treatment. Usually 3 1/2 glands are removed. The remaining tissue may be implanted in the forearm so a doctor can easily operate on it if symptoms come back. This tissue will also help the body control calcium levels.
Increased calcium levels persist or return about 20% of the time after surgery.
Parathyroid hyperplasia can cause hyperparathyroidism, which leads to an increase in blood calcium levels.
Patients may also have complications from the other tumors that are part of the multiple endocrine neoplasia syndromes. See also:
MEN I MEN IIA
Calling your health care provider
Call your health care provider if:
- You have any symptoms of hypercalcemia
- You have a family history of a MEN syndrome
Patients with a family history of the MEN syndromes 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.