The parathyroid glands are two pairs of glands having the size of apple seeds usually positioned behind the left and right lobes of the thyroid. They produce parathyroid hormone, which plays an important role in the regulation of calcium balance and therefore also of bone metabolism. An enlargement of the parathyroid glands (parathyroid hyperplasia, parathyroid adenoma) can cause an overproduction of parathyroid hormone. This in turn causes a depletion of bone material (culminating in osteoporosis), the formation of kidney stones and bone and stomach pain. On suspicion of an enlargement of the parathyroid glands comes next blood tests and ultrasound also often the MIBI scintigraphy for use.
The parathyroid scintigraphy with MIBI is used to display and locate enlarged parathyroid glands. In this examination, a radioactive drug is injected and after some time images of the cervical and thoracic region are made. Enlarged parathyroid glands can then be visualized.
Scintigraphic presentation of a thyroid adenoma