Timing of symptom improvement after parathyroidectomy for primary hyperparathyroidism

Section of Endocrine Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI.
Surgery (Impact Factor: 3.38). 12/2013; 154(6):1463-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.surg.2013.09.005
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The timing of symptom improvement after parathyroidectomy for primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) has not been well characterized.
This prospective study involved administering a questionnaire to patients with PHPT who underwent curative parathyroidectomy over an 11-month period. The questionnaire evaluated the frequency of 18 symptoms of PHPT on a 5-point Likert scale and was administered preoperatively and 1 week, 6 weeks, and 6 months postoperatively.
Of 197 eligible patients, 132 (67%) participated in the study. The questionnaires were completed at a rate of 91%, 92%, and 86% at 1 week, 6 weeks, and 6 months postoperatively, respectively. The most commonly reported preoperative symptoms were fatigue (98%), muscle aches (89%), and bone/joint pain (87%). Improvement in symptom severity occurred across all symptoms and was separated into three categories based on the timing of improvement. Fatigue and bone/joint pain demonstrated "Immediate Improvement" (>50% of patients reporting improvement by post-operative week 1), whereas the majority of symptoms showed peak improvement at 6 weeks ("Delayed Improvement"). Symptoms categorized as "Continuous Improvement" were those showing progressive improvement up to 6 months postoperatively (polydipsia, headaches, and nausea/vomiting).
Symptom improvement was most prominent 6 weeks postparathyroidectomy, although some symptoms showed continued improvement at 6 months.

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    ABSTRACT: Background Primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) is a disease process traditionally thought to present during middle age, but can occur at any age. The purpose of this study was to compare PHPT patient characteristics based on patient age at the time of surgical referral. Methods A retrospective review of a prospectively managed database of adult patients undergoing parathyroid surgery for PHPT was conducted. Patients with a negative family history, no previous parathyroid surgery, and ≥6-mo follow-up were included. Patients were grouped by age for comparison. Results From 2001–2012, 1372 patients met inclusion criteria. Age groups were as follows: ≤50 y, 51–60 y, 61–70 y, and >70 y. Female predominance increased with age (P > 0.01). Baseline serum parathyroid hormone levels were higher at the extremes of age (P < 0.001). Young patients had the highest serum calcium (P < 0.01), urinary calcium (P < 0.001), and T-score (P < 0.001) measures, and greater incidence of vitamin D deficiency (P = 0.03). The use of local anesthesia increased with age, whereas use of outpatient parathyroidectomy decreased with age (both P < 0.01). Rates of disease persistence (2.3%–2.9%, P = 0.95) and recurrence (2.1%–3.3%, P = 0.75) were low, and did not differ. Conclusions Patients at the extremes of age are referred with more elevated laboratory indices whereas those in the traditional age range have milder biochemical indices. This may result from differential surgical referral. Individuals with laboratory evidence of abnormal calcium and parathyroid hormone regulation should be evaluated for parathyroidectomy regardless of age because all ages can be successfully treated.
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