Nuclear Medicine in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Hyperparathyroidism

  • Maria Cristina Marzola
  • Gaia Grassetto
  • Domenico Rubello


The parathyroid glands arise from the pharyngeal pouches; usually, there are four such glands but the incidence of a supernumerous gland is 2–5% [1, 2]. The parathyroid glands are usually localized behind the thyroid gland. The two behind the upper lobe are also called the superior glands or P4 (originating from the fourth pouch), and the two behind/beyond the lower lobe are also referred to as the inferior glands or P3 (originating from the third pouch) [1, 2]. It is worth noting that the location of normal inferior parathyroid glands is more variable than that of the superior glands, probably due to their longer developmental pathway and more difficult developmental migration process. Consequently, the P3 glands can be intrathyroidal, within the thyrothymic ligament, within the thymus, or in the mediastinum. The parathyroid glands are generally found in the peri-thyroid sheath but may also occur outside the thyroid capsule or, very rarely, in a subcapsular site [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].


Parathyroid Gland Primary Hyperparathyroidism Parathyroid Adenoma Parathyroid Carcinoma Parathyroid Tissue 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Cristina Marzola
    • 1
  • Gaia Grassetto
    • 1
  • Domenico Rubello
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Nuclear Medicine — PET CentreSanta Maria della Misericordia HospitalRovigoItaly

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