World Journal of Endocrine Surgery

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VOLUME 2 , ISSUE 1 ( January-April, 2010 ) > List of Articles


Hypocalcemia after Thyroidectomy: The Need for Improved Definitions

WU Jessie, Barney Harrison

Citation Information : Jessie W, Harrison B. Hypocalcemia after Thyroidectomy: The Need for Improved Definitions. World J Endoc Surg 2010; 2 (1):17-20.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10002-1015

Published Online: 01-12-2012

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2010; The Author(s).



Hypocalcemia and permanent hypoparathyroidism are important outcome measures after total thyroidectomy. The aim of this article is to identify and highlight the wide variation in the adequacy/definition of these complications as reported in the surgical literature.


Nineteen journal articles (2008) on complications of thyroidectomy and 17 journal articles (2002) on ‘prediction’ of postthyroidectomy hypocalcemia derived from a PubMed search were reviewed.


Only 21% of studies of describing outcome and complications of thyroidectomy defined hypocalcemia, temporary/permanent hypoparathyroidism. 47% of studies on the early prediction of hypocalcemia failed to quote their normal range of serum calcium. When stated, the biochemical definition of hypocalcemia varied from 1.8 to 2.12 mmol/l. There is no consistent definition of post-thyroidectomy hypoparathyroidism.


There is no consensus apparent on literature review as to what constitutes post-thyroidectomy hypocalcemia and hypoparathyroidism. The need to benchmark and define appropriate outcome measures of thyroid surgery demands that this deficit is addressed.

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