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Association between Decreased Serum Parathyroid Hormone after Total Thyroidectomy and Persistent Hypoparathyroidism

Jian-Biao Wang, Hai-Li Sun, Chun-Yi Song, Li Gao

Department of Head and Neck Surgery, Institute of Minimally Invasive Surgery of Zhejiang University, Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2015; 21:1223-1231

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.892867

Available online:

Published: 2015-04-29


Background: Postoperative hypocalcemia caused by hypoparathyroidism is one of the most common morbidities of total thyroidectomy. The aim of this study was to analyze the kinetics and factors affecting PTH levels after total thyroidectomy and central neck dissection (CND).
Material and Methods: We performed a retrospective study in 438 consecutive patients who underwent total thyroidectomy between January 2007 and December 2010. No patient had a history of thyroid or neck surgery. PTH and calcium levels were recorded 1 day before the operation, during the first 5 days, and during follow-up (2 weeks and 2, 6, and 12 months).
Results: PTH levels declined to 41.90% of its initial value on the first day after the operation. After surgery, PTH was correlated positively with calcium and inversely with phosphate levels from postoperative day 1 to 14. Based on clinical observation, using a PTH threshold of <7 ng/L on postoperative day 1 was predictive of persistent hypoparathyroidism, with sensitivity and negative predictive value 100%, but poor specificity (70.19%). CND increased the risk of transient hypoparathyroidism compared with total thyroidectomy alone. Patients with thyroiditis had an increased risk of permanent hypoparathyroidism compared with those without thyroiditis. Iatrogenic removal of the parathyroid glands increased the risk of permanent hypoparathyroidism compared with those without iatrogenic parathyroidectomy.
Conclusions: PTH declined on the first day after thyroidectomy. PTH levels <7 ng/L on the first day after surgery might be associated with persistent hypoparathyroidism. CND, thyroiditis, and iatrogenic parathyroidectomy increased the risk of hypoparathyroidism.

Keywords: Calcium - blood, Adult, Hypocalcemia - etiology, Hypoparathyroidism - etiology, Parathyroid Hormone - blood, Postoperative Complications - etiology, Risk Factors, Thyroidectomy - adverse effects, Time Factors



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