How are parathyroid adenomas diagnosed?

Parathyroid adenomas are usually discovered when a higher-than-normal calcium level shows up in a routine blood test, particularly in people without symptoms. Doctors then confirm the diagnosis of primary hyperparathyroidism with a test that shows parathyroid hormone levels in the blood are higher than normal.

It's important to understand primary parathyroid disease is diagnosed by looking at the calcium and parathyroid hormone levels only. Whether or not symptoms are there doesn't aid in the diagnosis.

adenoma on parathyroid

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/19/2015.


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  • National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease. Primary Hyperparathyroidism. Accessed 10/16/2019.
  • American Family Physician. Hyperparathyroidism. Accessed 10/16/2019.
  • Wieneke JA, Smith A. Parathyroid adenoma. Head Neck Pathol. 2008;2(4):305–308. doi:10.1007/s12105-008-0088-8

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