Article Abstract

“Parathyroidectomy in pregnancy”—a single centre experience with review of evidence and proposal for treatment algorithim

Authors: Abigail Walker, Jaime Jimeno Fraile, Johnathan G. Hubbard


Background: As many as 25% of women with primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) present during their child bearing years. However there is a paucity of data about management of PHPT in pregnancy, despite its association with severe complications including foetal loss. A recent review called for early surgical intervention to optimise maternal and foetal outcomes. We present our experience of parathyroidectomy in five pregnant patients, representing the largest series reported to date, alongside a review of literature to formulate a best evidence approach to management.
Methods: A retrospective case series of five patients managed at a single tertiary referral centre in London, UK. Data analysed include patient demographics, clinical features, pre and post-operative biochemical markers, pathology findings, surgical procedure, complications, and outcome of pregnancy.
Results: Parathyroidectomy was safely carried out in all five patients during their second trimester. Cure was achieved by excision of adenoma in four patients at first operation with no reported complications. One patient with severe preoperative hypercalcaemia of >3 mmol/L suffered persistent severe hypercalcaemia despite three gland excision, with subsequent genetic testing revealing a mutation consistent with familial hypocalciuric hypercalcaemia (FHH).
Conclusions: This case series illustrates the challenges and successes of managing PHPT in pregnancy. Parathyroidectomy can be safely carried out with excellent outcomes for both mother and child. However, a modified approach to diagnosis and localisation studies is required. We propose a model for investigation and approach to management of such patients.