Article

Persistent recalcitrant hypocalcemia following total thyroidectomy: a management challenge

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Abstract

Hypocalcemia is the most common complication following total thyroidectomy and could be due to direct injury or ischemic damage to parathyroid glands during surgery. Hypocalcemia adds significantly to hospital stay and cost of hospitalisation. While there are numerous proposed treatment algorithms for post-thyroidectomy hypocalcemia, there are no universally accepted standard guidelines or treatment algorithms available. We present a case of prolonged recalcitrant hypocalcemia post-total thyroidectomy, requiring hospitalisation for more than a month, to illustrate the practical problems we faced during management of this patient.

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Article
Hypocalcaemia is one of the most common complications after thyroidectomy; however, it is still unclear what preoperative factors could predict this event. The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of risk factors for hypocalcaemia after total thyroidectomy (TT). Consecutive patients who underwent total thyroidectomyat our institution between January 2014 and January 2016 were enrolled. The clinical and pathologic characteristics and surgical details of normocalcemic and hypocalcemic patients were compared. Univariate and multivariate analyses to estimate risk ratio were assessed. A total of 328 patients underwent TT; histology revealed benign and malignant disease in 83 and 17% of cases, respectively. Central-compartment neck dissection (CCND) was performed in 36 subjects (10.9%). Parathyroid glands were observed in 23% (76) of specimens. Laboratory asymptomatic hypocalcaemia was observed in 92 (28%) patients; symptomatic hypocalcaemia occurred in 26 (7.9%). Transient hypocalcaemia has been observed in 48 (14.6%) patients; permanent hypocalcaemia occurred in two subjects (0.6%). On univariate analysis, malignant pathology (p < 0.001), CCND (p < 0.05), female gender (p < 0.001), presence of at least two parathyroid glands in specimens (p < 0.002), and operative time longer than 120 min (p < 0.05) were factors that significantly increased the risk of developing asymptomatic and transient hypocalcaemia. After logistic regression analysis, malignant pathology (p < 0.000; p < 0.001) and CCND (p < 0.005; p = 0.013) were the significant factors that affected the development of symptomatic and transient hypocalcaemia. The presence of malignant pathology and CCND was found to be significant risks factors for postoperative hypocalcaemia. In patients in whom this pathological features are present, attention should be paid to rapidly start an adequate therapy.
Article
Importance Hypocalcemia is the most common complication after total thyroidectomy and can result in prolonged hospital admissions and increased hospital charges. Objective To determine the effectiveness of preoperative calcium and calcitriol supplementation in reducing hypocalcemia following total thyroidectomy. Design, Setting, and Participants A retrospective cohort study was conducted at a tertiary care center in 65 patients undergoing total thyroidectomy by a single surgeon. Patients were divided into 2 groups: those receiving preoperative as well as postoperative supplementation with calcium carbonate, 1000 to 1500 mg, 3 times daily and calcitriol, 0.25 to 0.5 µg, twice daily, and those receiving only postoperative supplementation with those agents at the same dosages. Data on patients who underwent surgery between January 1, 2008, and December 31, 2011, were acquired, and data analyses were conducted from March through June 2012, and from October through December 2016. Interventions Calcium and calcitriol therapy. Main Outcomes and Measures Postoperative serum calcium levels and development of postoperative hypocalcemia. Results Of the 65 patients who underwent total thyroidectomy 27 (42%) were men; mean (SD) age was 49.7 (16.7) years. Thirty-three patients received preoperative calcium and calcitriol supplementation, and 32 patients received only postoperative therapy. In the preoperative supplementation group, 15 of 33 (45%) patients underwent complete central compartment neck dissection and 11 of 33 (33%) had lateral neck dissection, compared with 16 of 32 (50%) and 12 of 32 (38%), respectively, patients without preoperative supplementation. The mean measured serum calcium level in those without preoperative supplementation vs those with supplementation are as follows: preoperative, 9.6 vs 9.4 mg/dL (absolute difference, 0.16; 95% CI, −0.12 to 0.49 mg/dL); 12 hours postoperative, 8.3 vs 8.6 mg/dL (absolute difference, −0.30; 95% CI, −0.63 to 0.02 mg/dL); and 24 hours postoperative, 8.4 vs 8.5 mg/dL (absolute difference, −0.13; 95% CI, −0.43 to 0.16 mg/dL). In patients not receiving preoperative supplementation, 5 of 32 (16%) individuals became symptomatically hypocalcemic vs 2 of 33 (6%) in the preoperative supplementation group; an absolute difference of 10% (95% CI, −6.6% to 26.3%). Compared with the group not receiving preoperative supplementation, the mean [SD] length of stay was significantly shorter in the preoperative supplementation group (3.8 [1.8] vs 2.9 [1.4] days; absolute difference, −0.9; 95% CI, −1.70 to −0.105 days). Preoperative supplementation resulted in an estimated $2819 savings in charges per patient undergoing total thyroidectomy. Conclusions and Relevance Preoperative calcium and calcitriol supplementation, in addition to routine postoperative supplementation, was associated with a reduced incidence of symptomatic hypocalcemia, length of hospital stay, and overall charges following total thyroidectomy.
Article
Background: Postoperative hypocalcemia is the most common complication after total thyroidectomy. Postoperative parathyroid hormone (PTH) measurement is one of the methods to detect or prevent postoperative hypocalcemia. Prophylactic oral calcium supplementation is another method to prevent early postoperative hypocalcemia. The aim of this study is to detect the accurate timing of PTH and evaluate efficacy of routine oral calcium supplementation for postoperative hypocalcemia. Methods: A total of 106 patients were performed total thyroidectomy. Rotuine oral calcium supplementation was given to group 1 and no treatment to group 2 according to randomization. Serum calcium and PTH level of patients in group 2 at postoperative 6, 12 and 24 h and patients in both groups at postoperative day 7 were evaluated. Patients were compared according to age, sex, operation findings, serum calcium and PTH levels and symptomatic hypocalcemia. Results: Half of the patients (50%) were in group 1. Most of the patients were female (83%). The most common etiology of thyroid disease was multinodular goiter (64.1%). Oral calcium supplementation was given to 18 (33.9%) patients in group 2. Symptomatic hypocalcemia for group 1 and 2 was found to be 1.9 and 33.9% respectively (p < 0.05). No statistical difference can be observed regarding the timing of serum biomarkers. Conclusion: Serum PTH levels at postoperative 12 and 24 h can predict early post-thyroidectomy hypocalcemia. Prophylactic oral calcium supplementation therapy can prevent early post-thyroidectomy hypocalcemia with advantages of being cost effective and safe.
Article
Background: This study evaluates the outcomes of a protocol to manage hypocalcemia after thyroidectomy (TTX). Methods: A review of prospectively collected data was performed in 130 patients who underwent TTX after the introduction of a specific protocol. These patients were compared with a control group of 195 patients who underwent TTX the year prior when routine calcium supplementation was utilized and no specific protocol was used. Results: Of the 120 patients in whom the protocol was followed, 44 (37%) patients were classified as high risk, 15 (13%) intermediate risk, and 61 (51%) low risk. The protocol had a sensitivity of 85% and a negative predictive value of 92% for predicting subsequent hypocalcemia. With the implementation of the protocol, there was significant reduction in temporary hypocalcemia events (P = .008) and intravenous calcium drip (P = .49). Also, calcium supplementation was significantly lower in the protocol group (P ≤ .001). Conclusions: This hypocalcemia protocol identifies patients who do not require additional supplementation and additional monitoring. At the same time, it identifies those who will benefit from supplementation after TTX.
Article
BID = bis in die DSPTC = diffuse sclerosing papillary thyroid cancer FNA = fine-needle aspiration HT = Hashimoto thyroiditis iPTH = intact parathyroid hormone 25OHD = 25-hydroxy vitamin D PTH = parathyroid hormone TPO = thyroid peroxidase US = ultrasonography.
Article
Introduction Hydrochlorothiazide, an effective antihypertensive medication commonly prescribed to blacks, decreases urinary calcium excretion. Blacks have significantly higher rates of hypertension and lower levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D. Thus, they are more likely to be exposed to vitamin D supplementation and thiazide diuretics. The risk for hypercalcemia among blacks using vitamin D and hydrochlorothiazide is undefined. Methods We assessed the frequency of hypercalcemia in HCTZ users in a post-hoc analysis of a randomized, double-blind, dose-finding trial of 328 blacks (median age, 51 years) assigned to either placebo, or 1000, 2000, or 4000 international units of cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) daily for 3 months during the winter (2007-2010). Results Of the 328 participants, 84 reported hydrochlorothiazide use and had serum calcium levels assessed. Additionally, a comparison convenience group of 44 enrolled participants who were not taking hydrochlorothiazide had serum calcium measurements at 3-months but not at baseline. At 3-months, hydrochlorothiazide participants had higher calcium levels (0.2 mg/dL, p<.001) than non-hydrochlorothiazide participants, but only one participant in the hydrochlorothiazide group had hypercalcemia. In contrast, none of the non-hydrochlorothiazide participants had hypercalcemia. In linear regression model adjusted for age, sex, 25-hydroxyvitamin D at 3-months, and other covariates, only hydrochlorothiazide use [Estimate (SE):0.05(0.01) p=0.01] predicted serum calcium at 3-months. Conclusion In summary, vitamin D3 supplementation up to 4000 IU in hydrochlorothiazide users is associated with a rise in serum calcium but a low frequency of hypercalcemia. These findings suggest that participants of this population can use HCTZ with up to 4000 IU of vitamin D3 daily and experience a low frequency of hypercalcemia.
Article
Hypocalcaemia is common after thyroidectomy. Accurate prediction and appropriate management may help reduce morbidity and hospital stay. The aim of this study was to perform a systematic literature review and meta-analysis of predictors of post-thyroidectomy hypocalcaemia. A systematic search of PubMed, EMBASE and the Cochrane Library databases was undertaken, and the quality of manuscripts assessed using a modified Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. Some 115 observational studies were included. The median (i.q.r.) incidence of transient and permanent hypocalcaemia was 27 (19-38) and 1 (0-3) per cent respectively. Independent predictors of transient hypocalcaemia included levels of preoperative calcium, perioperative parathyroid hormone (PTH), preoperative 25-hydroxyvitamin D and postoperative magnesium. Clinical predictors included surgery for recurrent goitre and reoperation for bleeding. A calcium level lower than 1·88 mmol/l at 24 h after surgery, identification of fewer than two parathyroid glands (PTGs) at surgery, reoperation for bleeding, Graves' disease and heavier thyroid specimens were identified as independent predictors of permanent hypocalcaemia in multivariable analysis. Factors associated with transient hypocalcaemia in meta-analyses were inadvertent PTG excision (odds ratio (OR) 1·90, 95 per cent confidence interval 1·31 to 2·74), PTG autotransplantation (OR 2·03, 1·44 to 2·86), Graves' disease (OR 1·75, 1·34 to 2·28) and female sex (OR 2·28, 1·53 to 3·40). Perioperative PTH, preoperative vitamin D and postoperative changes in calcium are biochemical predictors of post-thyroidectomy hypocalcaemia. Clinical predictors include female sex, Graves' disease, need for parathyroid autotransplantation and inadvertent excision of PTGs.
Article
The approach to the hypocalcemic patient is best considered with due regard to the underlying etiology and the extent to which features of hypocalcemia are present. When hypocalcemia is a medical emergency, aggressive but judicious measures must be taken immediately to correct, in part, the hypocalcemia. Parenteral therapy of hypocalcemia is advisable only under these conditions. The aim of acute management is not to return the serum calcium to normal but rather to ameliorate the acute manifestations of hypocalcemia. If the hypocalcemic state is owing to a chronic condition that will not remit, a plan for long-term management with a vitamin D preparation and calcium supplementation is implemented after the emergency therapy is provided.
Article
To evaluate the rapid parathyroid hormone assay (rPTH) as a perioperative tool in predicting postoperative symptomatic hypocalcemia following thyroidectomy. We conducted a prospective study of 69 patients undergoing total or completion thyroidectomy. Rapid PTH levels were obtained preoperatively, intraoperatively, and postoperatively upon arrival in the postanesthesia care unit (PACU). All patients were closely monitored postoperatively for the development of symptomatic or asymptomatic hypocalcemia. Of 60 patients (25%) undergoing thyroidectomy, 15 developed hypocalcemia, 7 (11.7%) were symptomatic, and 8 (13.3%) asymptomatic. An intraoperative rPTH level less than 12 pg/mL was 71% sensitive and 95% specific for predicting postoperative symptomatic hypocalcemia, whereas a PACU rPTH level less than 12 pg/mL was 100% sensitive and 92% specific. A greater than 75% decline in preoperative rPTH level when measured intraoperatively was 71% sensitive and 86% specific, whereas a greater than 75% decline in rPTH level in the PACU was 100% sensitive and 88% specific for predicting symptomatic hypocalcemia. The rPTH assay is a highly accurate and effective tool for predicting symptomatic hypocalcemia immediately after thyroidectomy. Routine utilization of this assay is recommended, because it will allow safe and timely discharge of normocalcemic patients and the early identification of patients requiring treatment of postthyroidectomy hypocalcemia.