Nuclear medicine is established as essential for the early diagnosis of …

Nuclear medicine is essential for the early diagnosis of hyperparathyroidism, one of the endocrine diseases most treated by this service, according to Dr. Ana Benítez, a specialist in Nuclear Medicine at the Quirónsalud Córdoba Hospital.

Hyperparathyroidism is characterized by an abnormal functioning of the parathyroid glands, with an excessive production of parathyroid hormone and the consequent elevation of serum calcium, which can progress to kidney and bone involvement, as well as muscle weakness, fatigue, depression, anorexia and nausea, among other symptoms, being more frequent in women, as explained by Rafael Palomares, head of the Endocrinology and Nutrition service of the Quirónsalud Córdoba Hospital.

Early detection by the Endocrinology specialist is essential to prescribe treatment and thus avoid serious bone and kidney involvement. The diagnosis is established by biochemical criteria when an increase in parathyroid hormone and calcium is seen in a blood test. In up to 15% of cases of primary hyperparathyroidism, the cause of the disease is a benign tumor of one of the parathyroid glands, which we know as an adenoma. Surgical removal of these adenomas is the definitive treatment that is performed.

Dr. Benítez has pointed out that Nuclear Medicine is an essential tool for the detection and localization of pathological glands, before and during surgical intervention, since it allows the surgeon to perform a minimally invasive surgery, shortening the surgical time and reducing complications.

Scintigraphy is a test used to diagnose the presence of hyperfunctioning parathyroid glands and thus determine their location. This is a routine examination for the preoperative location of parathyroid adenomas and hyperplasias.

The specialist has indicated that the most used technique is the double phase. To do this, the patient is injected with a radioactive substance in a very low dose (radiopharmaceutical) that is fixed in the pathological glands. After the administration of this radiopharmaceutical, images of the cervical and thoracic region are acquired at 20 minutes and at 2-3 hours after the injection.

At present, it is recommended to complete the study by means of tomographic acquisition with hybrid fusion equipment, which is known as SPECT-CT.

In this sense, the Quirónsalud Córdoba Hospital has a state-of-the-art hybrid diagnostic imaging equipment. This equipment consists of two detector heads for obtaining high-sensitivity scintigraphic images, together with an 8-slice CT equipment that allows anatomically correlated with low radiation doses, the findings of the scintigraphic image and improves its processing. Thus, it is a piece of equipment that combines the functional diagnosis of the scintigraphic image with the anatomical CT scan, obtaining valuable morpho-functional information on the process that affects the patient.

The examination carried out provides a more exact location, increases sensitivity and offers a better pre-surgical anatomical approach, being particularly important in case of adenomas (especially when they are outside their usual location, which is known as ectopic adenoma), disease associated thyroid, history of cervical surgery, and recurrent hyperparathyroidism.

Regarding surgical treatment, there are different types of approach, ranging from bilateral exploration of the neck with open surgery (cervicotomy), to the current minimally invasive surgery, radioguided with an intraoperative detection probe.

Quirónsalud in Andalusia

The Quirónsalud Hospital Group currently has seven hospitals in Andalusia located in the cities of Malaga, Marbella, Los Barrios (Cádiz), two in Seville, Córdoba and Huelva, in addition to 18 medical and diagnostic centers and a hospital for surgical day, which position him as a private hospital leader in this autonomous community.

About Quirónsalud

Quirónsalud is the leading hospital group in Spain and, together with its parent company Fresenius-Helios, also in Europe. It has more than 40,000 professionals in more than 125 health centers, including 54 hospitals that offer nearly 7,000 hospital beds. It has the most advanced technology and a large team of highly specialized professionals of international prestige. Among its centers are the Jiménez Díaz Foundation University Hospital, Teknon Medical Center, Ruber International, Quirónsalud Madrid University Hospital, Quirónsalud Barcelona Hospital, Dexeus University Hospital, Gipuzkoa Polyclinic, General University Hospital of Catalonia, Quirónsalud Sagrado Corazón Hospital, etc.

The Group works to promote teaching (eight of its hospitals are university hospitals) and medical-scientific research (it has the FJD Health Research Institute, accredited by the State Secretariat for Research, Development and Innovation).

Likewise, its healthcare service is organized in units and transversal networks that allow optimizing the accumulated experience in the different centers and the clinical translation of its research. Currently, Quirónsalud is developing a multitude of research projects throughout Spain and many of its centers carry out cutting-edge work in this area, being pioneers in different specialties such as oncology, cardiology, endocrinology, gynecology and neurology, among others.