Background: We hypothesized that nonlocalizing sestamibi scans would correlate with multigland disease and persistent primary hyperparathyroidism. Methods: We reviewed records for 401 consecutive patients who underwent parathyroidectomy from 1999 to 2004. Gender, age, preoperative imaging, surgical findings, gland weight and volume, and 6-month calcium levels (Ca) were examined. Results: We identified 289 women and 112 men, 297 of whom had a preoperative sestamibi scan localized to a single gland (localized group; LG). Ninety-six percent of the LG were found to have single-gland disease, and 4% had multigland disease (MGD). In the nonlocalized group (NLG), 76% had single-gland disease and 24% MGD. Mean gland weight was greater in the LG than in the NLG (1128 mg vs 699 mg; P < .05). Mean gland volume was larger in the LG (1.34 cc vs 0.89 cc; P < .05). A localizing sestamibi scan had a positive predictive value (PPV) of 96% and a likelihood ratio of 2.29 for predicting "curative" intraoperative parathyroid hormone drop after removal of a single abnormal gland. Patients were stratified into normocalcemic (NCa) and hypercalcemic (HCa) groups based on 6-month postoperative serum calcium data (n = 328). HCa incidence at 6 months did not differ significantly between the LG (5%) and NLG (3%). A localizing scan had a PPV of 95% for normocalcemia at 6 months. A nonlocalizing scan had a PPV of 21% for HCa at 6 months. Conclusions: Nonlocalizing sestamibi scans were more common in primary hyperparathyroidism with MGD and were associated with smaller-volume abnormal glands found at operation. Preoperative sestamibi scan-results did not predict HCa at 6 months.
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