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Hyperparathyroidism

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Hyperparathyroidism Definition

Definition

The parathyroid glands are four small glands in the neck. They secrete parathyroid hormone (PTH). PTH controls the level of calcium in the blood.

In hyperparathyroidism too much PTH is secreted. This causes high levels of calcium in the blood. High calcium is known as hypercalcemia. The condition is classified as being:

  • Primary hyperparathyroidism—most common form
  • Secondary hyperparathyroidism—occurs in patients with kidney failure or a severe vitamin D deficient state
  • Tertiary hyperparathyroidism—also occurs in patients with kidney failure or a severe vitamin D deficient state

Thyroid and Parathyroid Glands: Posterior (Back) View

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© 2008 Nucleus Medical Art, Inc.

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