BACKGROUND: Parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels up to 6 hours postthyroidectomy have been shown to have excellent predictive power in determining hypocalcemia. In this study, we investigate the usefulness of combining calcium and PTH to increase the predictive power.
METHODS: Individual patient data were obtained from 3 studies (152 patients) that fulfilled our criteria (using PTH assay within hours postthyroidectomy to predict symptomatic hypocalcemia).
RESULTS: Changes in combined PTH and calcium threshold levels checked 1 to 6 hours after thyroidectomy were excellent in predicting postoperative hypocalcemia. A decrease in PTH of 60%, coupled with a simultaneous decrease in calcium of 10%, 5 to 6 hours postoperatively resulted in a sensitivity and specificity of 100%. However, combined PTH and calcium threshold changes were not significantly better than using PTH threshold changes alone.
CONCLUSIONS: Threshold changes in serum calcium and PTH, checked hours after surgery, can be used together to accurately predict whether a patient will become hypocalcemic after thyroidectomy.
- thyroid surgery