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Endocr Pract. 2015 Apr;21(4):348-54. doi: 10.4158/EP14264.OR. Epub 2014 Dec 22.

Correlating pre-operative vitamin D status with post-thyroidectomy hypocalcemia.



To examine the relationship between pre-operative vitamin D status and post-thyroidectomy hypocalcemia.


Retrospective study examining 264 total and completion thyroidectomies conducted between 2007 and 2011. Subjects included had a recorded 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) level within 21 days prior to or 1 day following surgery, did not have a primary parathyroid gland disorder, and were not taking 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (calcitriol) prior to surgery. Some subjects were repleted with vitamin D pre-operatively if a low 25(OH)D level (typically below 20 ng/mL) was identified. Pre-operative 25(OH)D, concurrent neck dissection, integrity of parathyroid glands, final pathology, postoperative parathyroid hormone (PTH), calcium nadir and repletion, and length of stay were examined.


The mean pre-operative 25(OH)D for all subjects was 25 ng/mL, and the overall rate of post-operative hypocalcemia was 37.5%. Lower pre-operative 25(OH)D did not predict postoperative hypocalcemia (P = .96); however, it did predict the need for postoperative 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 administration (P = .01). Lower postoperative PTH levels (P = .001) were associated with postoperative hypocalcemia.


Pre-operative 25(OH)D did not predict a postoperative decrease in serum calcium, although it did predict the need for 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 therapy in hypocalcemic subjects. We recommend that 25(OH)D be assessed and, if indicated, repleted pre-operatively in patients undergoing total thyroidectomy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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