Parathyroid nuclear scan. A focused review on the technical and biological factors affecting its outcome

Subramanian Kannan, Mira Milas, Donald Neumann, Rikesh T. Parikh, Alan Siperstein, Angelo Licata

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objective. Technetium Parathyroid Scintigraphy (TS) is the most popular noninvasive localization procedure in patients with primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT). Awareness of various factors involved in technetium uptake helps understand the outcome of TS. Methods. We utilize a case of changing TS scans in a patient to review the literature on the various biological and CIC technical factors involved in technetium uptake by the abnormal parathyroid tissue. A 56 year female was diagnosed with PHPT and osteopenia. An initial scan using 99mTc-Tetrofosmin showed no definite areas of abnormal parathyroid tissue. Patient refused surgical exploration, was started on Bisphosponates and subsequently monitored. Five years later she suffered fracture of her right wrist. A repeat TS using 99mTc- Sestamibi revealed hypervascular parathyroid lesion in the right lower neck. She underwent successful removal of a right lower parathyroid adenoma. Results. Technical factors like the type of Tc isotope used, imaging techniques and biological factors like biochemical parameters (calcium, vitamin D levels), adenoma size, content of oxyphilic cells, vascularity can affect the outcome of the scan. Conclusion. Clinicians should be aware of technical and biological factors that could result in negative scan in parathyroid nuclear scintigraphy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-30
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Cases in Mineral and Bone Metabolism
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014


  • Parathyroid nuclear scintigraphy
  • Primary hyperparathyroidism
  • Technetium sestamibi
  • Technetium tetrofosmin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


Dive into the research topics of 'Parathyroid nuclear scan. A focused review on the technical and biological factors affecting its outcome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this