Background: Intraoperative identification of the difficult-to-spot parathyroid gland is critical during surgery for thyroid and parathyroid disease. Recently, intrinsic fluorescence of the parathyroid gland was identified, and a new method was developed for intraoperative detection of the parathyroid with an original fluorescent detection apparatus. Here, we describe a method for intraoperative detection of the parathyroid using a ready-made photodynamic eye (PDE) system without any fluorescent dye or contrast agents. Methods: Seventeen patients who underwent surgical treatment for thyroid or parathyroid disease at Kagoshima University Hospital were enrolled in this study. Intrinsic fluorescence of various tissues was detected with the PDE system. Intraoperative in vivo and ex vivo intrinsic fluorescence of the parathyroid, thyroid, lymph nodes and fat tissues was measured and analyzed. Results: The parathyroid gland had a significantly higher fluorescence intensity than the other tissues, including the thyroid glands, lymph nodes and fat tissues, and we could identify them during surgery using the fluorescence-guided method. Our method could be applicable for two intraoperative clinical procedures: ex vivo tissue identification of parathyroid tissue and in vivo identification of the location of the parathyroid gland, including ectopic glands. Conclusion: The PDE system may be an easy and highly feasible method to identify the parathyroid gland during surgery.
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