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Case Reports in Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 851941, 5 pages
Case Report

Functional Parathyroid Cyst: A Rare Cause of Malignant Hypercalcemia with Primary Hyperparathyroidism—A Case Report and Review of the Literature

1Department of Internal Medicine, Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY 11212, USA
2Bronx Lebanon Hospital, New York, NY 10457, USA
3McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada L8N 3Z5
4Raritan Bay Medical Center, New Jersey, NJ 08857, USA
5Department of R-Endocrinology, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Robertwood Johnson University of Medicine and Dentistry (UMDNJ), Hamilton, NJ 08690, USA

Received 4 October 2011; Revised 27 December 2011; Accepted 29 December 2011

Academic Editor: Chung Yau Lo

Copyright © 2012 Areej Khan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Parathyroid cysts are rare lesions found in the neck and anterior mediastinum. They are often nonfunctional (>90%) and rarely in the functional form. This paper discusses a case of severe hypercalcemia (23 mg/dL) secondary to a rare functional parathyroid cyst. The patient was later found to have a hemorrhagic cyst with compression of the right recurrent laryngeal nerve. Preoperative diagnosis of the lesion was parathyroid carcinoma. However, reexploration of the parathyroid mass along with microscopic study confirmed the diagnosis of a parathyroid cyst. Following cystectomy, the patient restored her baseline functional status with preservation of the right recurrent laryngeal nerve. Postoperative followup three years later showed no evidence of cyst recurrence. This paper illustrates the rare presentation of parathyroid functional cysts with severe hypercalcemia and primary hyperparathyroidism. Physicians should be aware of the presence of hemorrhage, inflammation, and compressive symptoms in these cysts which mimic parathyroid carcinoma. These patients should be managed with aggressive medical and surgical intervention.