Parathyroid Localization and Preservation during Transcervical Resection of Substernal Thyroid Glands
Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
Objective The feasibility of parathyroid preservation during thyroidectomy has not been well documented for cases in which the thyroid gland extends into the mediastinum. Study Design Retrospective chart review. Setting Tertiary academic referral center. Subjects and Methods In this retrospective cohort study, 70 consecutive patients who had substernal thyroid glands treated with a transcervical thyroidectomy between 1993 and 2013 were compared with 286 thyroidectomies that did not entail substernal extension within that same time period. All localized parathyroid glands were confirmed histologically. Results Of 160 possible parathyroid glands in the substernal cases, 119 (74%) were histologically confirmed intraoperatively (67 superior and 52 inferior). In nonsubsternal cases, 725 (89%) were histologically confirmed (372 superior and 353 inferior). There was a statistically significant difference between the substernal and nonsubsternal cases in the total number of glands found (P < .0001) and the number of superior and inferior glands that were identified (P = .009 and < 0.0001). Conclusions Even when the thyroid gland extends into the mediastinum, it is often possible, although with reduced efficiency, to identify and preserve the parathyroid glands.
School of Medicine