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International Journal of Endocrinology
Volume 2010, Article ID 829540, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2010/829540
Research Article

Cryopreservation of Parathyroid Glands

Department of Surgery, The University of Arizona, 1501 N. Campbell Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85724, USA

Received 18 June 2010; Accepted 22 October 2010

Academic Editor: Aaron I. Vinik

Copyright © 2010 Marlon A. Guerrero. 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.

Abstract

The risk of permanent hypoparathyroidism following thyroid and parathyroid surgery is around 1% in the hands of experienced endocrine surgeons. Although this complication is rare, rendering a patient permanently aparathyroid has significant consequences on the health and quality of life of the patient. Immediate autotransplantation of parathyroid glands that are injured or unintentionally removed offers the best possibility of graft viability and functionality. However, since the majority of cases of hypoparathyroidism are transient, immediate autotransplantation can complicate postoperative surveillance in certain patients, especially those with primary hyperparathyroidism. Cryopreservation of parathyroid tissue is an alternate technique that was developed to treat patients with permanent hypoparathyroidism. This method allows for parathyroid tissue to be stored and then autotransplanted in a delayed fashion once permanent hypoparathyroidism is confirmed. This article provides a contemporary review on cryopreservation of parathyroid tissue and its current role in thyroid and parathyroid surgery.