Issue N# 3 - 2006
HEAD AND NECK
Early PTH assay after total thyroidectomy: Predictive post operative factor of hypocalcemia?
Authors : A. Bozec, N. Guevara, S. Bailleux, L. Castillo, J. Santini (Nice)
Ref. : Rev Laryngol Otol Rhinol. 2006;127,3:141-144.
Article published in french
Downloadable PDF document french
Objectives: Hypocalcemia is the most common complication of total thyroidectomy. During surgery the blood supply to preserved parathyroid glands may be compromised, monitoring for post operative hypocalcemia is often the primary reason patients remain in hospital. The aim of this prospective study was to evaluate the role of early parathyroid hormone (PTH) assay for predicting thyroidectomy-related hypocalcemia. Material and methods: 62 patients underwent total thyroidectomy between November 2004 and April 2005 in our institution. Quick PTH assay was performed 1 hour post thyroidectomy. Based on the result (PTH > or <16 pg/mL) the patients were separated into two groups. Serum calcium levels and ionised fractions were determined 24, 48 and 72 hours after surgery. Post operative hypocalcemia was defined as calcium levels <2.00 mmol/L and/or ionised calcium levels <1.00 mmol/L. Results: In 16 cases hypocalcemia occurred in the first 72 hours (25.8 %). In all of these cases, PTH measured 1 hour after thyroidectomy was ? 16 pg/mL. All patients with PTH >16 pg/mL one hour after the operation remained normocalcemic. Of the 29 patients with a PTH ?16 pg/mL at one hour post surgery, 13 remained normocalcemic. Quick PTH measurements which were ?16 pg/mL post thyroidectomy were an excellent predictive factor of hypocalcemia with a sensibility of 100%, a specificity of 71.7%, a positive predictive value of 55.2% and a negative predictive value of 100%. Conclusion: PTH measurement 1 hour post thyroidectomy can potentially highlight those patients at risk of hypocalcemia. This would allow more efficient replacement therapy with calcium and vitamin D thus avoiding complications and reducing total hospital stay.
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