Two families with hereditary hyperparathyroidism are described. One member of each family developed a parathyroid carcinoma. In one case this recurred locally and metastasised. This patient showed hyperplasia of one of the three other parathyroid glands. It is possible that the different parathyroid lesions found in familial hyperparathyroidism may be the result of a progression from hyperplasia to formation of benign or malignant tumours. The remainiing hyperplastic glands may be suppressed by hypercalcaemia. There was no evidence of multiple endocrine neoplasia in either family. Three members of a first family had ichthyosis and both affected members of the second had tumours of the jaw, one of which was an ossifying fibroma, suggesting a possible association of these conditions with familial hyperparathyroidism.
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