Renal tubular function was assessed in a group of patients with mild hyperparathyroidism before and after a mean period of 2.7 years conservative management. It was also assessed, before and after a mean of 3.3 years following surgery in a group of patients with initially higher plasma calcium concentration. Mean maximum urine osmolality was within the accepted range as was the maximum urine plasma hydrogen ion gradient in both groups at the time of diagnosis. No significant change in renal tubular function was observed in either group over the periods of this study. Although deterioration after a long period cannot be excluded, we do not consider that regular assessment of renal tubular function is necessary in the conservative management of primary hyperparathyroidism.