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Date of last update: 10/19/2017.

Forum Name: Miscellaneous Chest Diseases

Question: Enlarged Parathyroid Lymph Node

 pt_i_am - Sat May 27, 2006 6:27 pm

I am a 40 year old female who had an allergic reaction to Remicade for the use of Crohn's disease. My lungs have been affected, with an unknown diagnosis. The CT scan has shown an enlarged (2 cm) parathyroid lymph node.

What I am wanting to know is if I have this biopsied, would it tell me what is wrong with my lungs? What is the most common cause of that enlargement?

What does a biopsy of this lymph node consist of?
 Theresa Jones, RN - Mon Aug 07, 2006 6:04 am

User avatar Hi pt_i_am,
The following is directly quoted by the University of Florida's Division of Surgical Oncology:
"Parathyroid Disease:
Hyperparathyroidism is a common disorder involving tissues of the parathyroid gland located at the base of the neck, near the thyroid gland. The parathyroid gland makes a hormone which helps the body store and use calcium. When this hormone is produced in excess, hyperparathyroidism develops. In patients with hyperparathyroidism, one of the four parathyroid glands behaves inappropriately by making excess parathyroid hormone regardless of the level of calcium . In other words, one of the parathyroid glands continues to make large amounts of parathyroid hormone even when the calcium level is not high and at a time when the parathyroid glands should not be making any hormone at all.
The most common cause of excess hormone production (hyperparathyroidism) is the development of a benign tumor in one of the parathyroid glands. This enlargement of one of the parathyroid glands is called a parathyroid adenoma which accounts for 95% of all patients. This parathyroid tumor is typically only 1/2 inch in diameter. Several years ago, standard parathyroid surgery involved making a big incision to identify this small parathyroid tumor. Now utilizing state of the art technology, Surgical Oncologists at UF can remove this tumor in over 90% of patients with minimally invasive surgery. This involves making a small incision (typically about 1 inch) to take out the one bad parathyroid gland. The other three normal parathyroid glands are left alone. Most operations can be done in the outpatient setting with patients going home the same day as the surgery. All surgeries are done using a special monitoring device which ensures the safety of the nerves that supply the vocal cord and larynx". Lymph node biopsies in general, consist of either excisional biopsy as mentioned above or Fine Needle Aspiration. As for determination of what the condition is regarding your lungs, if enlargement is due to a disease process located there, yes. If it's due to the above stated, (parathyroid disease) it may be an entirely separate process.
Theresa Jones, RN

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