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Logo of neuroncolAboutAuthor GuidelinesEditorial BoardNeuro-Oncology
Neuro Oncol. 2002 January; 4(1): 44–48.
PMCID: PMC1920631

Painful ophthalmoplegia from metastatic nonproducing parathyroid carcinoma: case study and review of the literature.


Parathyroid carcinoma is an uncommon malignancy. Of the fewer than 400 cases reported, most have been cases of producing parathyroid carcinoma with accompanying hypercalcemia. Only 13 patients with nonproducing parathyroid carcinoma have been described. Nine of these 13 patients had metastatic disease. We report a patient with i.c. metastasis. Distal metastases of producing parathyroid carcinoma are treated surgically to prolong survival and prevent complications of hyperparathyroidism and hypercalcemia. One half of the patients with producing parathyroid carcinoma die within 5 years, mostly because of the complications of hypercalcemia. Nonproducing parathyroid carcinoma compares unfavorably with producing parathyroid carcinoma in terms of tumor progression and prognosis. Few data on choice of therapy in nonproducing parathyroid carcinoma are available. We treated our patient with a combination of radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Treatment was followed by an unexpectedly prolonged survival of 31 months after diagnosis of metastatic disease.

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