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Systematic review of surgical and medical treatment for tertiary hyperparathyroidism. BJS 2017; 104: 804-813.

Published: 18th May 2017

Authors: R. R. Dulfer, G. J. H. Franssen, D. A. Hesselink, E. J. Hoorn, C. H. J. van Eijck, T. M. van Ginhoven et al.

Background

A significant proportion of patients with chronic kidney disease and secondary hyperparathyroidism (HPT) remain hyperparathyroid after kidney transplantation, a state known as tertiary HPT. Without treatment, tertiary HPT can lead to diminished kidney allograft and patient survival. Parathyroidectomy was commonly performed to treat tertiary HPT until the introduction of the calcimimetic drug, cinacalcet. It is not known whether surgery or medical treatment is superior for tertiary HPT.

Method

A systematic review was performed and medical literature databases were searched for studies on the treatment of tertiary HPT that were published after the approval of cinacalcet.

Results

A total of 1669 articles were identified, of which 47 were included in the review. Following subtotal and total parathyroidectomy, initial cure rates were 98·7 and 100 per cent respectively, but in 7·6 and 4 per cent of patients tertiary HPT recurred. After treatment with cinacalcet, 80·8 per cent of the patients achieved normocalcaemia. Owing to side‐effects, 6·4 per cent of patients discontinued cinacalcet treatment. The literature regarding graft function and survival is limited; however, renal graft survival after surgical treatment appears comparable to that obtained with cinacalcet therapy.

Conclusion

Side‐effects and complications of both treatment modalities were mild and occurred in a minority of patients. Surgical treatment for tertiary HPT has higher cure rates than medical therapy.

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