Current status of parathyroid autotransplantation

L. Michael Brunt, Gregorio A. Sicard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Autotransplantation of the parathyroid glands is a clinically useful modality for the management of patients with certain forms of hyperparathyroidism. In conjunction with total parathyroidectomy, this procedure has been used to treat patients with primary and secondary hyperparathyroidism who have generalized parathyroid hyperplasia. Parathyroid autotrans plantation is also an important adjunct to the management of patients undergoing radical thyroid or laryngeal surgery to prevent permanent hypoparathyroidism from devascularization of all in situ parathyroid tissue. The technique of parathyroid cryopreservation has been well established and provides surgeons with greater flexibility in the approach to patients undergoing reoperative parathyroid surgery in whom there is uncertainty about the functional status of the remaining parathyroid tissue. Parathy‐ roid allotransplantation has been successfully performed in immunosuppressed patients but is rarely indicated. Parathyroid autografts can be placed heterotopically in a forearm muscle or in the sternocleidomastoid, but the former site is preferred in patients with hyperplastic or adenomatous tissue. This technique results in a low incidence of permanent hypoparathyroidism after radical parathyroidectomy, and recurrent hypercalcemia can be easily managed by local excision of a portion of the grafted tissue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-121
Number of pages7
JournalSeminars in Surgical Oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1990


  • hyperparathyroidism
  • parathyroid hyperplasia


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