Resection of Pulmonary Metastasis from Parathyroid Carcinoma

Hundley, Jonathan C.; Albertson, David A.; Bradley, Robert F.; Levine, Edward A.
September 2003
American Surgeon;Sep2003, Vol. 69 Issue 9, p779
Academic Journal
The management of metastasis from parathyroid carcinoma (PC) is an unusual challenge. Systemic therapy has minimal effect on the course of the disease and its associated hypercalcemia. Resection of isolated pulmonary metastases is an attractive option in the setting of recurrent hypercalcemia. We report a case of a patient who underwent resection of multiple functional PC pulmonary metastases almost 20 years after the original neck resection. The patient originally presented in 1982 with what was thought to be hyperparathyroidism secondary to a parathyroid adenoma. Surgical exploration revealed the presence of a well differentiated PC. The patient was transiently normocalcemic, but underwent surgical exploration in 1993 and 1996 for recurrent PC in the neck. The patient again improved, but presented in 2001 with diffuse arthralgia, fatigue, malaise, weight loss, and decreased appetite. She was found to have a serum calcium of 12.7 mg/dL and an intact parathyroid hormone of 1542 pmol/L. Computed tomography identified the presence of two right-sided and two left-sided pulmonary masses. Sternotomy with bilateral pulmonary metastectomy was performed. Functional PC metastasis was confirmed on pathological examination. One year following metastectomy the patient is hypocalcemic, requiring oral calcium and vitamin D supplementation. Functional pulmonary metastasis from PC is a rare cause of hypercalcemia. Complete resection of isolated pulmonary metastases can provide effective palliation with long-term survival.


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