Cystic lesions
Parathyroid cyst

Author: Hanni Gulwani, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 15 June 2018, last major update December 2012

Copyright: (c) 2003-2018,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Parathyroid cyst mediastinum

Cite this page: Gulwani, H. Parathyroid cyst. website. Accessed July 22nd, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Rare causes of neck swelling accounting for 0.6% of thyroid and parathyroid lesions (Br J Hosp Med (Lond) 2012;73:108)
  • Derived from third and fourth branchial pouch, as does thymus
  • Cysts may be present in low cervical or anterosuperior mediastinum
Clinical features
  • Pure cysts are present at any age; contain high levels of parathyroid hormone; can diagnose by FNA via PTH in fluid (Am J Clin Pathol 1986;86:776)
  • Patients usually are normocalcemic and present with an asymptomatic mass on Xray
Case reports
Gross description
  • 1 - 10 cm, unilocular, thin walled, clear fluid, no nodules
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Lined by flattened parathyroid chief cells, oxyphils, clear cells
  • Cyst wall has uniform thickness
  • May contain granular material resembling colloid
  • No cholesterol granulomas, no cartilage, no smooth muscle
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on other servers:

Giant cystic parathyroid adenoma

Positive stains
Negative stains