Video assisted thoracoscopic excision of mediastinal ectopic parathyroid adenomas: a UK regional experience
Background: To report the first series of video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) resection of mediastinal ectopic parathyroid adenomas (MEPAs) in the UK.
Methods: A case series of seven cases undergoing VATS between 2004 and 2009 to treat single gland hyperparathyroidism. Methylene blue (MB) was used in 5/7 cases immediately before exploration to identify the adenomas. Carbon dioxide (CO2) up to pressures of 10 mmHg was used safely to deflate the lung in two cases.
Results: There were five women and two men with a mean age of 53 years (range, 27-72 years). Histopathology confirmed successful resection of the parathyroid adenoma in 6/7 cases. There was one conversion to open thoracotomy due to bleeding from the azygos vein resulting from excessive traction. Despite marked MB uptake, this patient proved to have tuberculoid adenopathy and no parathyroid tissue was identified. Postoperative plasma calcium returned to normal in 6/7 patients and parathyroid hormone (PTH) level in 6/7 patients. The median hospital stay was 2 days and there was no mortality in this series.
Conclusions: MEPAs can be safely resected using VATS with minimal surgical morbidity, short drainage time and short hospital stay. CO2 insufflation and the intraoperative use of MB are safe and help to accurately localise the ectopic adenoma. VATS should be considered as the first-line approach for resection of MEPAs.