Cystic lesions
Parathyroid cyst

Topic Completed: 1 December 2012

Minor changes: 5 December 2019

Copyright: 2003-2019,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Parathyroid cyst mediastinum

Hanni Gulwani, M.B.B.S.
Page views in 2019: 359
Page views in 2020 to date: 155
Cite this page: Gulwani H. Parathyroid cyst. website. Accessed June 1st, 2020.
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
Clinical images

Contributed by Ayana Suzuki

Clear fluid

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
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