Intraoperative Parathyroid Hormone Concentration to Confirm Removal of Hypersecretory Parathyroid Tissue and Time to Postoperative Normocalcaemia in Nine Dogs with Primary Hyperparathyroidism
K.J. Graham, M. Wilkinson, J. Culvenor, N.K. Dhand, and R.K. Churcher
In human patients suffering from primary hyperparathyroidism, intraoperative parathyroid hormone (PTH) measurement is a highly sensitive and specific tool for determining successful removal of autonomously functioning parathyroid tissue (7-10). In this procedure, PTH is measured just prior to parathyroidectomy and at least 10 minutes after parathyroid tumor removal. Since PTH has a plasma half life of less than 5 minutes (11), removal of a parathyroid tumor leads to a rapid fall in circulating PTH concentrations within minutes. The criterion for a positive test result varies between studies, but is generally accepted that > 50% decrease in PTH values indicates successful parathyroid tumor removal (7-10). A recent prospective veterinary study of 12 dogs demonstrated a greater than 50% reduction in parathyroidectomy PTH in all dogs, confirming correct removal of the hypersecretory gland (12).
The aims of this study by Graham et al (13) were to determine if serum PTH concentrations would decrease after successful parathyroidectomy and whether manipulation or dissection of the target gland would cause a transient increase in PTH, given its rapid half-life.
Objective of Study — To determine whether the intraoperative parathyroid hormone concentration (PTH) during parathyroidectomy can be used to indicate a cure in dogs with primary hyperparathyroidism. A secondary objective was to determine the time taken for the postoperative serum calcium concentration to normalize.
Design — Retrospective study (2005–2010) from a private referral hospital in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
Procedure — Nine client-owned dogs underwent surgical parathyroidectomy for naturally occurring primary hyperparathyroidism. The first PTH sample was taken immediately after induction of anesthesia and prior to manipulation of parathyroid tissue. A second sample was collected as the abnormal parathyroid gland was being manipulated or excised in 6 dogs. A final PTH sample was taken 20–30 minutes after completion of parathyroidectomy in all dogs.
The concentration of ionized calcium (iCa) was measured at various time points postoperatively until it normalized, then stabilized or decreased below reference ranges. Statistical analysis compared the mean pre-, intra- and post-parathyroidectomy PTH concentration and the average rate of decline of iCa concentration postoperative.
Assays—Blood for PTH measurement was collected from the jugular vein and placed into plain tubes on ice for 30 minutes, centrifuged at 2500g and the serum transferred to a plain tube for storage at 4°C until assay. The serum specimens were assayed for PTH within 2 hours of collection, and results were available by the afternoon of surgery.
Intact serum PTH was assayed using an in-house, quick chemiluminescent enzyme immunometric assay, which is a modification of the Immulite PTH assay (Immulite Turbo: Siemens Medical Solutions Diagnostics).
|Figure 1: Mean PTH concentration before surgery, at time of manipulation of the parathyroid tumor, and 20 min after parathyroidectomy.|
My Bottom Line:
In this study (13), the investigators were able to document that use of intraoperative PTH in dogs undergoing parathyroidectomy for primary hyperparathyroidism can be a very powerful technique to determine successful surgical removal of the parathyroid tumor and predict outcome. Following parathyroid tumor removal, serum PTH fell dramatically when remeasured at 20-30 minutes postoperatively (see Figure 1). This agrees with another study performed in dogs in which serum PTH fell by >50% when rechecked 30-45 minutes after excision of the diseased parathyroid gland (12).
The finding that PTH concentrations can rise dramatically after manipulation of the abnormal parathyroid tissue highlights the importance of waiting at least 20 minutes to collect the final PTH sample after adenoma removal. This interval ensures that circulating PTH has had enough time to fall to it nadir level before collection. If collected too soon, the PTH may still be too high, leading one to believe that the surgery was not successful.
Is intraoperative PTH testing practical?
The cost and availability of PTH assays is a major limiting factor for use of intra-operative PTH testing in dogs. Very few veterinary practices, even large speciality hospitals, will have access for the dedicated lab equipment needed to perform these assays. A nearby human facility was used in this case series reported by Graham (13), whereas the only other veterinary case series (12) performed quick parathyroid testing with a in-house, dedicated machine.
And that brings up the biggest down-side to this method —is it feasible to have the results of PTH testing back during the surgical procedure so that we know that all of the involved parathyroid tissue has been removed hyperfunctioning gland prior to closing? If the PTH samples must be sent out to an outside lab for analysis, that typically will take a few days to receive the PTH results. Such a delay overrides or negates almost all of the advantages of this diagnostic technique.
Remember, as shown in this present study (13), we can judge the success of the operation on the basis of serial serum ionized calcium concentrations, which normalize by 24 hours after successful surgery. We do not need a serum PTH measurement to tell us that operation for hyperparathyroidism has been successful, at least not in most dogs with this disease.
- Berger B, Feldman EC. Primary hyperparathyroidism in dogs: 21 cases (1976-1986). J Am Vet Med Assoc 1987;191:350-356.
- Feldman EC, Hoar B, Pollard R, et al. Pretreatment clinical and laboratory findings in dogs with primary hyperparathyroidism: 210 cases (1987-2004). J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;227:756-761.
- Gear RN, Neiger R, Skelly BJ, et al. Primary hyperparathyroidism in 29 dogs: diagnosis, treatment, outcome and associated renal failure. J Small Anim Pract 2005;46:10-16.
- Skelly BJ. Hyperparathyroidism In: Mooney CT, Peterson ME, eds. BSAVA Manual of Canine and Feline Endocrinology. Quedgeley, Gloucester: British Small Animal Veterinary Association, 2012;43-55.
- Jores K, Kessler M. Primary hyperparathyroidism in the dog. Diagnosis, therapy and postoperative management in 19 dogs. Tierarztliche Praxis Ausgabe K, Kleintiere/Heimtiere 2011;39:389-396.
- Sawyer ES, Northrup NC, Schmiedt CW, et al. Outcome of 19 dogs with parathyroid carcinoma after surgical excision. Vet Comp Oncol 2012;10:57-64.
- Irvin GL, 3rd, Solorzano CC, Carneiro DM. Quick intraoperative parathyroid hormone assay: surgical adjunct to allow limited parathyroidectomy, improve success rate, and predict outcome. World J Surg 2004;28:1287-1292.
- Sharma J, Milas M, Berber E, et al. Value of intraoperative parathyroid hormone monitoring. Ann Surg Oncol 2008;15:493-498.
- Richards ML, Thompson GB, Farley DR, et al. An optimal algorithm for intraoperative parathyroid hormone monitoring. Arch Surg 2011;146:280-285.
- Carneiro-Pla D. Contemporary and practical uses of intraoperative parathyroid hormone monitoring. Endocr Pract 2011;17 Suppl 1:44-53.
- Bieglmayer C, Prager G, Niederle B. Kinetic analyses of parathyroid hormone clearance as measured by three rapid immunoassays during parathyroidectomy. Clin Chem 2002;48:1731-1738.
- Ham K, Greenfield CL, Barger A, et al. Validation of a rapid parathyroid hormone assay and intraoperative measurement of parathyroid hormone in dogs with benign naturally occurring primary hyperparathyroidism. Vet Surg 2009;38:122-132.
- Graham KJ, Wilkinson M, Culvenor J, et al. Intraoperative parathyroid hormone concentration to confirm removal of hypersecretory parathyroid tissue and time to postoperative normocalcaemia in nine dogs with primary hyperparathyroidism. Aust Vet J 2012;90:203-209.