Parathyroid gland
Water clear cell hyperplasia

Author: Monika Roychowdhury, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 11 April 2018, last major update January 2013

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

PubMed Search: Water clear cell hyperplasia

Cite this page: Roychowdhury, M. Water clear cell hyperplasia. website. Accessed October 18th, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Extreme enlargement of all parathyroid tissue with weights up to 100 g; causes primary hyperparathyroidism
  • Incidence has decreased over past 20 years, now very rare
  • No familial incidence, not associated with MEN (unlike chief cell hyperplasia)
  • Associated with blood group O (Hum Genet 1994;94:195)
Gross description
  • Superior glands larger than inferior glands
  • 2 giant glands may appear as one
  • Soft, chocolate brown, with cysts and hemorrhages
  • Pseudopods also common
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Abundant optically clear cells of variable size (hyperplasia and hypertrophy), with spherical clear vacuoles surrounded by thin eosinophilic material; basal nuclei, compact or alveolar patterns
Microscopic (histologic) images

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Water clear cell hyperplasia