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Research Article

Long term follow up of untreated primary hyperparathyroidism.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984; 289 doi: (Published 10 November 1984) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984;289:1261
  1. C R Paterson,
  2. J Burns,
  3. E Mowat


    Fourteen patients with primary hyperparathyroidism and whose initial serum calcium concentrations were 2.75 mmol/l (11.0 mg/100 ml) or more were followed up for five to 23 years without operative treatment. One had osteitis fibrosa when seen and died with a fibrosarcoma 22 years later. The remaining 13 patients, who were followed up for a mean of 10 years, came to little obvious harm from not being operated on. Their serum calcium concentrations did not rise and there was no evidence of progressive renal impairment. In four patients who presented originally with renal calculi there were three further episodes of renal colic in 54 patient years of follow up. Conservative management of primary hyperparathyroidism is not an unreasonable option, and patients who do not have symptoms need not necessarily be pressed to accept surgery.