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K David, C Moyson, D Vanderschueren and B Decallonne

Objective

Chronic hypoparathyroidism and its treatment may lead to symptoms and complications affecting quality of life. We determined complications in chronic hypoparathyroid patients.

Design

Retrospective cross-sectional study of patients with chronic hypoparathyroidism treated with active vitamin D supplements in a tertiary care centre during the year 2015. Primary outcome parameters were history of kidney stones and seizures and presence of renal and cerebral calcifications on imaging. Secondary outcome parameters were current symptoms of paraesthesia/cramps, hospitalization due to hyper/hypocalcaemia and hypercalciuria.

Subjects

One hundred and seventy patients were included – 143 (84%) with post-surgical hypoparathyroidism (PSHP), 16 (9%) with non-surgical hypoparathyroidism (NSHP) and 11 (7%) with pseudo-hypoparathyroidism (PHP).

Results

History of kidney stones and seizures was present in 15 and 9% of patients, respectively. Renal and cerebral imaging was performed in 51 and 26% of the patients, with 22 and 25% of these patients having renal and cerebral calcifications respectively. Both history of seizures and cerebral calcifications were significantly more in NSHP and PHP than in PSHP patients. No association was observed between seizures and cerebral calcifications. Cramps/paraesthesia were present in 16%, and hospitalization related to hypocalcaemia was reported in 5% of the patients. Calciuria was screened in 47% at the time of consultation, and in 76% of the patients during the past 5 years. In 36% of these patients, calciuria was increased.

Conclusions

Patients with chronic hypoparathyroidism frequently develop ectopic calcifications. Non-surgical patients suffer more from seizures and cerebral calcifications than patients that developed hypoparathyroidism post surgery. There is a need for increased screening of long-term complications, according to the guidelines.