A parathyroid scintigraphy case study
Background: There has been much debate concerning the most suitable protocol for parathyroid scintigraphy; the merits of various radiopharmaceuticals versus the correct imaging protocol to visualise both ectopic and anatomically placed adenomas against the various equipment choices have been debated. Aim: To demonstrate, through the use of a case study, the necessity of changing imaging protocols for parathyroid scintigraphy where a definitive imaging diagnosis is absent in the face of strong clinical suspicion. Method: Use is made of Tc99mMIBI, full field chest scintigraphy, a clearly defined imaging protocol and SPECT imaging to locate ectopic parathyroid tissue in a female patient with significant symptoms of parathyroid hyperfunction. Results: A single hyperfunctioning adenoma is located in the pre-carinal area of the mediastinum. Using a radioguided surgical technique the hyperfunctioning tissue is excised and confirmed by histopathology. Conclusion: Whilst a dramatic reduction in patient symptoms was not seen immediately in this patient, the symptoms of the illness have been subsiding since January 2003. This case study demonstrates the necessity of changing imaging protocols for parathyroid scintigraphy where a definitive imaging diagnosis is absent in the face of strong clinical suspicion.