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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 498-503

A prospective study on role of supplemental oral calcium and Vitamin D in prevention of postthyroidectomy hypocalcemia

1 Department of Endocrine Surgery, Christian Medical College, Vellore; Department of Endocrine Surgery, Madras Medical College, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Endocrine Surgery, Madras Medical College, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
3 Department of Endocrine Surgery, Madras Medical College, Chennai; Department of Endocrine Surgery, Madurai Medical College, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dhalapathy Sadacharan
Department of Endocrine Surgery, Madras Medical College, Park Town, Chennai - 600 003, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijem.IJEM_402_16

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Background: Postoperative transient hypocalcemia is sequelae of total thyroidectomy (TT), which is observed in up to 50% of patients. Routine oral calcium and Vitamin D supplementation have been proposed to prevent symptomatic hypocalcemia preventing morbidity and facilitating early discharge. Patients and Methods: A total of 208 patients with nontoxic benign thyroid disorders, undergoing TT, were serially randomized into four groups: Group A (no supplements were given), Group B (oral calcium - 2 g/day given), Group C (calcium and calcitriol - 1 mcg/day are given), and Group D (calcium, calcitriol, and cholecalciferol - 60,000 IU/day are given). Patients were monitored for clinical and biochemical hypocalcemia (serum calcium, [Sr. Ca] <8 mg/dl), along with serum intact parathormone (Sr. PTH) and magnesium 6 h after surgery and Sr. Ca every 24 h. Intravenous (IV) calcium infusion was started, if any of the above four groups exhibit frank hypocalcemia. Patients are followed up with Sr. Ca and Sr. PTH at 3 and 6 months. Results: All groups were age and sex matched. Hypocalcemia was observed in 72/208 (34.61%) cases. Incidence of hypocalcemia was higher in Group A (57.69%) and Group B (50%) compared to Group C (15.38%) and Group D (15.38%). Hypocalcemia necessitating IV calcium occurred in 31/208 (14.90%) patients. IV calcium requirement exceeded in Group A (26.92%) and Group B (23.07%) compared to Group C (5.76%) and Group D (3.84%). There was no statistical difference in basal levels of serum Vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, intact PTH, and 6 h after surgery. Permanent hypoparathyroidism developed in five patients on follow-up. Conclusion: Routine postoperative supplementation of oral calcium and Vitamin D will help in the prevention of postthyroidectomy transient hypocalcemia significantly. Preoperative Vitamin D levels do not predict postoperative hypocalcemia.

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