OBJECTIVE: Primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) in childhood and adolescence has been considered a different disease to that seen in adults, with predominantly familial aetiology mandating open exploration to exclude parathyroid hyperplasia in contrast to the adoption of focused image-guided parathyroidectomy (FP) in adults.
STUDY DESIGN: A retrospective cohort study in a tertiary referral hospital setting of all children and adolescents (<18 years) undergoing parathyroid surgery for PHPT. Data were obtained from a dedicated endocrine surgery database and hospital medical records.
RESULTS: Over the 35-year study period (1980-2014), there were 31 patients who underwent parathyroidectomy for PHPT. 3 patients were from known multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 syndrome (MEN1) families, 3 had an isolated family history of PHPT and 25 were sporadic. In the sporadic group, 24 (96%) presented with symptomatic hypercalcaemia, affecting the gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal, genitourinary or neuropsychiatric systems. In the 25 patients with sporadic PHPT, nine (36%) had FP with a single adenoma removed with a 100% initial cure rate. Sixteen patients (64%) in the sporadic group had an open exploration: 14 had single gland disease while 2 patients required a second procedure to achieve a final cure rate of 100%. Of the three patients with MEN1, one was cured, one has persistent hyperparathyroidism after FP and the third has permanent hypoparathyroidism after open exploration.
CONCLUSIONS: The majority of children and adolescents with PHPT have symptomatic disease due to a single adenoma. They can therefore be managed in a similar fashion to their adult counterparts with preoperative localisation studies aiming to permit FP in a day case setting.
2015. Vol. 100, no 10