BOSTON – Low postoperative calcium serum and parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels may be strong predictors of permanent hypoparathyroidism in total thyroidectomy patients, according to results of a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists.
With incidence of transient hypoparathyroidism at 20-30%, being able to predict at-risk patients can significantly help clinicians with postoperative management, according to, of the University of Arizona, Phoenix.
“It’s very important to draw the preoperative lab and postoperative lab in order to help those patients who are at risk,” said Dr. Brown in an oral abstract session.
To test the predictive accuracy of PTH and calcium levels, investigators conducted a single-center, retrospective study of 176 total thyroidectomy patients recorded during 1999-2013.
Patients with hypoparathyroidism had an average age of about 47 years, was almost entirely composed of females, was majority hispanic, and had mean postop calcium and PTH levels of 7.6 mg/dL and 8.0 pg/mL, respectively.
Those without hypoparathyroidism averaged about 51 years old, were equally hispanic and white, and had postop calcium and PTH levels of 8.08 mg/dL and 30.8 pg/dL, respectively.
Patients were split into four groups: Group 1 had low calcium and PTH levels (66), group 2 had low calcium and normal PTH levels (30), group 3 had normal calcium and low PTH levels (31), and group 4 had normal levels of both (49).
Over the study period, hypoparathyroidism developed in 30% of patients in group 1, 10% in group 2, 15% in group 3, and 2% in group 4.