Does Hyperparathyroidism Surgery Affect Patients’ Bone Mineral Density?

Surgical patient with Doctor in the backroundWhat are the effects of surgery for hyperparathyroidism on patients’ bone mineral density (BMD)? A team led by researchers at Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark explored this question in a study.

According to the researchers, the major goal of their study, “BMD improvements after operation for primary hyperparathyroidism,” was to quantify BMD changes in patients who underwent surgery for primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT). They also wanted to explore some of the clinical and biochemical variables that may account for these changes in patients’ BMD. The study was published online ahead of print in November 2012, and it appears in the Langenbeck’s Archives of Surgery.

To understand the relationship between PHPT surgery and BMD, the researchers looked at a cohort of 236 patients with PHPT. The average age of the participants was 60 years, and 81% of those included were women. Bone scans were conducted before surgery and also 1 year after surgery. Additionally, clinical data and biochemical data were gathered and analyzed.

The results of the study showed a significant increase in BMD at the lumbar spine following surgery. Additionally, increases were also seen in hip BMD. The researchers did not find significant changes in total forearm BMD. The results also showed that BMD increases were positively associated with patients’ preoperative plasma PTH levels. Additionally, post-surgical BMD gains were greater in the hip and forearm for patients who had adenomas than those who received treatment for hyperplasia.

The study authors conclude that their findings demonstrate an association between PHPT surgery and bone mineral density. They found significant improvements in patients’ BMD at the spine and in the hip. These improvements were also seen in patients with mild PHPT. The researchers also note that their study uncovered positive associations between patients’ pre-treatment plasma PTH levels and the extent of their BMD increases following surgery.

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