The efficacy of sestamibi parathyroid scintigraphy for directing surgical approaches based on modified interpretation criteria

Chun K. Kim, Suzy Kim, Borys R. Krynyckyi, Josef Machac, William B. Inabnet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Purpose: With the increasing use of targeted parathyroidectomy, the accuracy of sestamibi parathyroid scintigraphy (SPS) in determining the best surgical approach has become more clinically relevant than its sensitivity for detecting all abnormal glands. The reported accuracy of SPS does not represent the true efficacy of SPS for directing targeted parathyroidectomy, because many authors reported accuracy on the basis of abnormal glands. The authors assessed the efficacy of SPS based on modified interpretation criteria to determine specifically whether SPS influences the surgeon's choice of a targeted versus a conventional approach to parathyroidectomy. Methods: The authors reviewed the SPS studies (both dual-isotope subtraction and Tc-99m sestamibi dual-phase techniques) performed in 80 patients with primary hyperparathyroidism. All patients had surgery with histologic diagnoses, intraoperative PTH assays, and clinical follow-up. Results: Of 75 patients with solitary adenomas, 9 SPS studies were negative, equivocal, or showed two or more foci, and 66 studies showed a solitary focus on the correct side. Of these 66 studies, 63 showed a lesion in the correct quadrant (e.g., superior or inferior) and 3 predicted the correct side only but a wrong quadrant. The positive-predictive value of SPS was 100% for correctly identifying the side of the adenoma (thus correctly directing unilateral surgery) and 95.5% for correctly identifying the quadrant of the solitary adenoma. Conclusion: The positive-predictive value of SPS for directing the surgical approach (but not for detecting individual lesions) that reveals a single focus is very high based on our modified interpretation criteria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-248
Number of pages3
JournalClinical Nuclear Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2002


  • MIBI
  • Parathyroid Adenoma
  • Parathyroid Gland
  • Sestamibi

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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