Parathyroid gland
Parathyroid cysts

Topic Completed: 1 January 2013

Minor changes: 6 February 2019

Copyright: 2003-2019,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Parathyroid cysts[TI]

Monika Roychowdhury, M.D.
Page views in 2019: 863
Page views in 2020 to date: 254
Cite this page: Roychowdhury M. Parathyroid cysts. website. Accessed May 28th, 2020.
Definition / general
  • Patients usually are normocalcemic and present with an asymptomatic mass
  • May be hyperplastic gland (Am J Clin Pathol 1982;77:104), adenoma with cystic degeneration, heterotopic salivary gland-like tissue (Am J Surg Pathol 2000;24:837)
  • Can diagnose by FNA if PTH in fluid (Am J Clin Pathol 1986;86:776)
  • Cystic parathyroid lesions often contain turbid or colored fluid
  • Functional parathyroid cysts more common than nonfunctional parathyroid cysts (Arch Surg 2009;144:52)
  • During resection, cyst rupture should be avoided and patients with large cysts should be managed expectantly to forestall the development of symptomatic hypocalcemia
Radiology images

Contributed by Ayana Suzuki, Cytotechnologist, Japan

Large multilocular cyst

Case reports
Clinical images

Contributed by Ayana Suzuki, Cytotechnologist, Japan

Clear fluid

Gross description
  • Usually large, in inferior glands
  • Unilocular, thin walled with clear fluid containing PTH
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Lined by flattened parathyroid epithelium without nodules
  • May contain granular material resembling colloid
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on other servers:

Fibroadipose tissue
containing islands of
parathyroid tissue

Positive stains
Negative stains
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