BACKGROUND: In the usual techniques for intraoperative intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH) monitoring for primary hyperparathyroidism, the normal glands are implicitly considered suppressed. On the contrary, we believe, as do other researchers, that they are not totally suppressed. METHODS: For this reason, we considered the introduction of an infusion from the unsuppressed normal glands (UNG), described by an influx constant (IC (pg/ml per min)), into the formulation of a two-compartment model. For the blood compartment, we have: C(t)=A.exp(-at)+B.exp(-bt)+EV, where A+B+EV=iPTH concentration at zero time (clamping), EV (equilibrium value)=IC/k, 'a' and 'b' are reciprocals of the time constants of the two exponentials and k=rate constant of elimination from the blood. The experimental data were obtained using an IRMA standard method, collecting samples in 20 patients, during and following adenomectomy. RESULTS: In spite of the variability among the patients, all fits were very good, thus confirming the importance of the UNG contribution to the shaping of the disappearance curve. For this reason, the relationship between the constant infusion from the UNG and the basal iPTH level at the induction of anaesthesia (BV), was studied. CONCLUSIONS: The existence of a negative correlation, together with the determination of a regression curve (IC=6.5BV), not only confirmed our assumptions, but also revealed the theoretical possibility of a priori knowledge of the iPTH contribution from the UNG. Hence, there is a theoretical possibility of discriminating between this contribution and that of the remaining (if any) affected gland(s).
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