Arquivos Brasileiros de Endocrinologia & Metabologia
On-line version ISSN 1677-9487
HAUACHE, Omar M.. Laboratory Diagnosis of Primary Hyperparathyroidism. Arq Bras Endocrinol Metab [online]. 2002, vol.46, n.1, pp. 79-84. ISSN 1677-9487. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0004-27302002000100011.
Primary hyperparathyroidism (PHP) is a frequent endocrinopathy. Increased serum calcium levels may be considered as a potential marker for parathyroid autonomy and this explains why PHP should be routinely investigated in whoever presents with hypercalcemia. High or inappropriately normal PTH levels in the presence of hypercalcemia are very suggestive of PHP. On the other hand, PHP is very unlikely in the absence of hypercalcemia. Extracellular calcium concentrations may be evaluated by the measurement of total or ionized calcium, but the serum protein levels do not affect ionized calcium level. Regarding PTH, the current methods available detect the "intact" molecule of PTH (immunoradiometric and immunochemiluminescent assays), including PTH 1-84 and 7-84. Recently, assays that only detect the so-called bioactive PTH (1-84 PTH) are available. PTH levels are undetectable in humoral hypercalcemia of malignancy. In short, measuring serum calcium and PTH should be enough for the diagnosis of PHP. To further evaluate a patient with PHP and its potential bone and renal complications, one can order other exams such as evaluation of renal function, daily urinary calcium excretion, renal ultrassonography and bone densitometry. These exams may be useful to help the physician decide whether surgery should be indicated or not.
Keywords : Primary hyperparathyroidism; Hypercalcemia; Parathormone; Diagnosis.