Total weight of parathyroid glands and blood supply to the glands do not predict secretion of parathyroid hormone (PTH), new findings suggest.

Farrokhlagha Ahmadi, MD, of Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Iran, and colleagues had postulated that characteristics of parathyroid glands usually determined by ultrasonography, such as total weight or volume, might be a good indicator for induction or suppression of PTH secretion. They examined the relationship between parathyroid gland weight and blood supply and PTH secretion in a study of 52 hemodialysis patients with secondary hyperparathyroidism. They used high-resolution ultrasonography to determine gland weight and color Doppler imaging to measure parathyroid blood flow.

The investigators found no significant correlation between the total mass of the glands and serum concentration of serum intact PTH (iPTH) and between both total central and peripheral parathyroid gland blood flow and serum iPTH, according to a paper published in the Saudi Journal of Kidney Disease and Transplantation (2016;27:263-269). Dialysis duration and serum alkaline phosphatase were positively associated with serum iPTH level.

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The authors concluded that iPTH secretion is not dependent on total weight and blood supply of the parathyroid glands.