A hormonal relationship may exist between the pancreas and parathyroids, Chicago investigators report.
Edward Paloyan, MD, told JAMAMedical News that he and colleagues chose to study "the elusive relationship between these two glands" in an attempt to answer two questions:
Do changes in the pancreas or pancreatic secretions alter serum calcium levels and/or the parathyroid glands?
Is hyperparathyroidism associated with specific abnormalities of the pancreas or its secretions?
Clinical observations which have stimulated the search for a precise relationship, Dr. Paloyan said, include episodes of acute pancreatitis which sometimes have followed neck exploration for parathyroid tumor, and finding a hypocalcemia in acute pancreatitis. Association of parathyroid and islets of Langerhans tumors has been suggested also, he said, but "this may be only a manifestation of a more generalized problem of multiple endocrine tumors."The investigators, all at the University of Chicago School of Medicine, studied