Mediastinal parathyroid glands are the result of abnormal migration of the parathyroids during embryogenesis. About 60–80% of the ectopic mediastinal parathyroid can be found in the superior mediastinum within the thymus or at the origin of the great vessels. The remaining mediastinal parathyroids are located in the middle and posterior mediastinum in variable percentages. The actual prevalence of mediastinal parathyroid adenoma is unknown but has been reported to range from 6 to 30%. The ectopic mediastinal parathyroid gland is the most common cause for unsuccessful operation for either primary or secondary hyperparathyroidism. Most of the MPAs can be excised through a cervical approach, by removing the anterior mediastinal fat and the thymus either during the first exploration or in the setting of remedial operations. Only 1–2% of ectopic MPAs require a thoracic approach to be resected.
KeywordsParathyroid adenoma Mediastinal parathyroid gland Hyperparathyroidism
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