Article Abstract

Clinical profile and long-term follow-up of 32 patients with postoperative permanent hypoparathyroidism

Authors: Leyre Lorente- Poch, Juan J. Sancho, Leticia Carballo, Antonio Sitges- Serra

Abstract

Background: Parathyroid failure is the most common complication after total thyroidectomy but permanent impairment of the parathyroid function is unusual. Limited data is available assessing long-term follow-up, quality of life and complications occurring in patients with permanent hypoparathyroidism (PH). We aimed to assess the incidence of complications derived from PH status, their influence on the quality of life perceived by PH patients and its relation to standard medical treatment with calcium salts and active vitamin D analogues.
Methods: Cross-sectional observational study of consecutive patients undergoing total thyroidectomy who developed PH and were followed at least twice a year at a referral endocrine surgery unit. PH was defined as intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH) levels <13 pg/mL and the need for replacement therapy with calcium and/or vitamin D for at least 1 year after surgery. Quality of life was assessed using the SF-36 questionnaire. Data regarding doses and type of vitamin D analogues and calcium supplementation, serum calcium fluctuations, bone densitometry and renal ultrasound were recorded.
Results: The cohort included 32 patients (3 male/29 female) with a mean age of 51.2±15.2 years. The mean follow-up was 78±68 months and the total follow-up length was 70,080 PH patient/days. Five (15.6%) patients showed a decreased renal function. At least one clinical adverse event was observed in 18 (56.3%) patients. There was a slight decrease of the punctuation in the SF-36 questionnaire for the perceived quality of life that was only significant for the emotional role.
Conclusions: PH and its treatment carry a mild to moderate burden of illness if followed closely. During a mean follow-up of nearly 6 years, only half of the patients suffered a relevant clinical event with little impact on their quality of life.