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Diseases reference index «Parathyroid adenoma»

A parathyroid adenoma is a noncancerous (benign) tumor of the parathyroid glands, which are located in the neck.

Causes

The parathyroid glands in the neck help control calcium use and removal by the body. They do this by producing parathyroid hormone, or PTH. PTH helps control calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D levels within the blood and bone.

Parathyroid adenomas can be due to a genetic problem. The most common cause of parathyroid adenoma is hyperparathyroidism, which leads to increased blood calcium levels.

Women over 60 have the highest risk for developing this condition. Radiation to your head or neck also increase your risk.

Symptoms

Many people have no symptoms. The condition is often discovered accidentally when blood tests are done for another medical reason.

Symptoms that may occur include the following:

  • Bone fractures
  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Kidney stones
  • Lethargy
  • Muscle pain
  • Nausea

Exams and Tests

Blood tests are done to check the levels of calcium, phosphorus, chloride, and bicarbonate.

A 24-urine test is done to check for increased calcium in the urine.

Other tests include:

  • Bone density exam
  • Kidney x-rays (may show kidney stones)
  • MRI or sestamibi neck scan (may show swelling of the parathyroid glands)
  • Neck ultrasound
  • Kidney ultrasound or CT (may show kidney stones)

Treatment

Surgery is the most common treatment. However, if you have mild hyperparathyroidism, you may just need regular check ups with your doctor.

Estrogen replacement can help relieve symptoms and prevent bone loss in postmenopausal women.

Outlook (Prognosis)

The outlook is generally good.

Possible Complications

Osteoporosis and the increased risk for bone fractures is the most common concern.

Other complications are less common, but may include:

  • Nephrocalcinosis
  • Osteitis fibrosa cystica

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of this condition.

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