Background. Rapid intraoperative parathyroid hormone (RI-PTH) assay is used to guide adequacy of resection during operation for hyperparathyroidism. We compared the RI-PTH assay (15 minutes) with a standard PTH assay, determined whether the PTH half-life varied between patients, and constructed a kinetic analysis of the RI-PTH data. Methods. Forty-five patients with hyperparathyroidism had blood sampled at baseline and at times after parathyroid resection. Intact PTH was determined using RI-PTH and a standard assay. Values were fitted to an exponential decay curve using the baseline and the follow-up time points. PTH half-life and the new postexcision baseline value were calculated from the decay curve. Results. The RI-PTH assay and the standard PTH assay correlated well. Average PTH half-life was 1.68 ± 0.94 minutes (0.42 to 3.81 minutes). A kinetic analysis yielded a formula for the generation of a PTH decay curve. Using a 50% reduction in RI- PTH at 5 minutes as the criterion for adequate resection, 2 patients were incorrectly classified as not being cured. These patients were correctly classified using the kinetic analysis. Conclusions. PTH half-life can vary substantially. A kinetic analysis may be more accurate in assessing adequacy of resection. This method allows the surgeon to interpret RI-PTH data independent of the timing of samples.
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