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Am J Surg. 2012 Dec;204(6):888-93; discussion 893-4. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2012.10.001.

Vitamin D deficiency does not increase the rate of postoperative hypocalcemia after thyroidectomy.

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  • 1School of Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Anschutz Medical Campus, Denver, CO, USA.



Hypocalcemia is a frequent complication of thyroidectomy. Although typically mild and temporary, it can lead to an increased length of stay, readmission, and in some cases be permanent. Controversy exists as to whether vitamin D deficiency (VDD) contributes to post-thyroidectomy hypocalcemia.


This is a retrospective study of 152 patients who underwent thyroidectomy. Patients with or without VDD were compared. Data were analyzed for demographics, operative procedure, calcium levels, and complications of hypocalcemia.


There was no difference in the rates of biochemical or symptomatic hypocalcemia or in the need for readmission between the VDD and non-VDD groups. A multivariate analysis controlling for central neck dissection, parathyroid autotransplant, and preoperative diagnosis confirmed no association between VDD and post-thyroidectomy hypocalcemia.


Despite VDD being common in patients undergoing thyroidectomy, our results do not suggest that this increases the rate of hypocalcemia. Thus, preoperative evaluation/repletion of VDD is unlikely to reduce post-thyroidectomy hypocalcemia rates.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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