Article Abstract

Hypocalcaemia and permanent hypoparathyroidism after total/ bilateral thyroidectomy in the BAETS Registry

Authors: David R. Chadwick


Abstract: The UK Registry of Endocrine and Thyroid Surgeons (UKRETS) has been operated by the British Association of Endocrine and Thyroid Surgeons (BAETS) and Dendrite Clinical Systems Ltd. in a web-based electronic format since 2004. Data on over 90,000 endocrine procedures have been collected to date. Analysis of those cases undergoing bilateral thyroid resections in the interval July 2010 to June 2015 demonstrates that hypocalcaemia remains the commonest complication of thyroid surgery. After first-time total thyroidectomy, 23.6% of patients develop hypocalcaemia, defined as a serum calcium <2.10 mmol/L (or <1.20 mmol/L ionized calcium) on the first post-operative day. Most require treatment with calcium +/− vitamin D supplements, with around 38% of all patients being treated by the time of discharge from the index admission. By 6 months post-operative, 7.3% of patients remain on calcium/vitamin D supplements, reflecting persistent (though not necessarily permanent) hypoparathyroidism. Risk factors for persistent hypocalcaemia are principally concomitant level VI lymph node dissection [odds ratio (OR) =2.73]; reoperative surgery (OR =1.44); and inter-surgeon variation.