Functional cystic lesion of the parathyroid gland is a rare cause of primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT). They have been postulated to arise from the hemorrhage and cystic degeneration in the parathyroid adenoma (PA). We intended to analyze their scintigraphic and histopathological findings since available literature is sparse.
Dual-phase Tc-sestamibi planar and SPECT/CT scans performed from January 2014 to January 2020 in patients presenting with PHPT were retrospectively analyzed. The clinical, biochemical, and ultrasound features were collected. Planar and SPECT/CT imaging parameters were analyzed. Detailed histopathological analysis, along with post-surgical clinical and biochemical features of the patients who underwent surgery, was reviewed with a mean follow-up of 21.8 ± 20.1 months.
Of the 979 scans analyzed, 10 showed cystic parathyroid lesions (M:F- 3:7, mean age 45.6 ± 15 years, range: 23-66). The predominant presenting features in patients were abdominal pain and renal stone disease, present in 60% of the patients. On planar scintigraphy, 90% of the patients had tracer avid distinct lesions, whereas tracer activity was seen in the solid part of the cystic lesions in all 10 patients on SPECT/CT, with cystic areas showing an attenuation of 23.1 ± 7.6 HU. Eight of these patients underwent surgery, with all showing PA with cystic changes on histopathology. Two of these patients also showed hemorrhage within the cystic spaces.
Hemorrhage within a PA may give rise to cystic parathyroid lesions with PHPT. Tc-sestamibi scintigraphy with dual-phase imaging and SPECT/CT may help in detecting this rare entity.

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