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J Clin Pathol 58:338-342 doi:10.1136/jcp.2002.002550
  • BEST PRACTICE NO 183
  • Review

BEST PRACTICE NO 183

Examination of parathyroid gland specimens

  1. S J Johnson1,
  2. E A Sheffield2,
  3. A M McNicol3
  1. 1Department of Cellular Pathology, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4LP, UK
  2. 2Department of Pathology, Bristol Royal Infirmary, Bristol BS2 8HW, UK
  3. 3Department of Pathology, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Castle Street, Glasgow G4 0SF, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr S J Johnson
 Department of Cellular Pathology, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4LP, UK; Sarah.Johnsonnuth.northy.nhs.uk
  • Accepted 10 August 2004

Abstract

The pathological examination of parathyroid glands is an essential component of the evaluation of hyperparathyroidism. Traditionally, this has involved intraoperative frozen sections during bilateral surgical exploration of the neck, to confirm removal of parathyroid tissue. With recent developments in imaging, some diseased glands can be localised preoperatively, enabling removal by minimally invasive, targetted surgery, with or without additional non-histological intraoperative procedures to confirm the removal of all hyperfunctioning parathyroid tissue. This article reviews these developments and describes the ideal approach to reporting parathyroid specimens.

Footnotes

  • All authors are members of the United Kingdom Endocrine Pathology Group; AMM being the founder. SJJ and AMM are authors of the Royal College of Pathologists Minimum Dataset for the reporting of parathyroid carcinoma.