Academic Journal of Surgery 2016. 3(3-4):54-57.

Post-thyroidectomy Hypocalcemia and Pre-operative Vitamin D Levels
Alireza Khazaii, Mahdie Ramazani


Background: Post-operative transient hypocalcemia is a common event after total thyroidectomy. It may reveal permanent hypoparathyroidism following total or subtotal thyroidectomy. It has been hypothesized that there is a relationship between underlying vitamin D deficiency and the risk of post-operative hypocalcemia.

Methods: We performed a cross-sectional review on 100 thyroidectomies from 2016 at an academic teaching hospital. Pre-operative vitamin D levels and post-operative calcium level were obtained. The incidence of hypocalcemic symptoms was studied. Biochemical hypocalcemia was defined as any single post-operative corrected calcium level < 8.0 mg/dl (to convert to millimoles per liter, multiply by 0.25).

Results: Post-operative calcemia < 8.0 mg/dl was observed in 19 patients (19%). We found that the patients carried a high risk for post-operative transient biochemical hypocalcemia if the pre-operative serum vitamin D levels ˂ 35 nmol/L. There was a significant differentiation between mean of vitamin D levels in hypocalcemic group and normocalcemic group.

Conclusions: Pre-operative vitamin D levels appear to have a significant effect on the risk of post-thyroidectomy hypocalcemia.


Hypocalcemia; Vitamin D levels; Hypoparathyroidism; Thyroidectomy

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