A multi-institutional study evaluating and describing atypical parathyroid tumors discovered after parathyroidectomy

Alice L. Tang, Benjamin Aunins, Katherine Chang, James C. Wang, Matthew Hagen, Lan Jiang, Cortney Y. Lee, Reese W. Randle, Jeffery J. Houlton, David Sloan, David L. Steward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: To describe common intraoperative and pathologic findings of atypical parathyroid tumors (APTs) and evaluate clinical outcomes in patients undergoing parathyroidectomy. Methods: In this multi-institutional retrospective case series, data were collected from patients who underwent parathyroidectomy from 2000 to 2018 from three tertiary care institutions. APTs were defined according to the AJCC eighth edition guidelines and retrospective chart review was performed to evaluate the incidence of recurrent laryngeal nerve injury, recurrence of disease, and disease-specific mortality. Results: Twenty-eight patients were identified with a histopathologic diagnosis of atypical tumor. Mean age was 56 years (range, 23–83) and 68% (19/28) were female. All patients had an initial diagnosis of primary hyperparathyroidism with 21% (6/28) exhibiting clinical loss of bone density and 32% (9/28) presenting with nephrolithiasis or renal dysfunction. Intraoperatively, 29% (8/28) required thyroid lobectomy, 29% (8/28) had gross adherence to adjacent structures and 46% (13/28) had RLN adherence. The most common pathologic finding was fibrosis 46% (13/28). Postoperative complications include RLN paresis/paralysis in 14% (4/28) and hungry bone syndrome in 7% (2/28). No patients with a diagnosis of atypical tumor developed recurrent disease, however there was one patient that had persistent disease and hypercalcemia that is being observed. There were 96% (27/28) patients alive at last follow-up, with one death unrelated to disease. Conclusion: Despite the new AJCC categorization of atypical tumors staged as Tis, we observed no recurrence of disease after resection and no disease-specific mortality. However, patients with atypical tumors may be at increased risk for recurrent laryngeal nerve injury and incomplete resection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)901-905
Number of pages5
JournalLaryngoscope investigative otolaryngology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Laryngoscope Investigative Otolaryngology published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of The Triological Society.


  • atypical
  • parathyroid tumors
  • recurrent laryngeal nerve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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