Permanent hypoparathyroidism is an uncommon disease resulting most frequently from neck surgery. It has been associated with visceral calcifications but few studies have specifically this in patients with post-surgical hypoparathyroidism. The aim of the present study was to assess the prevalence of basal ganglia and carotid artery calcifications in patients with long-term post-thyroidectomy hypoparathyroidism compared with a control population.
A cross-sectional review comparing 29 consecutive patients with permanent postoperative hypoparathyroidism followed-up in a tertiary reference unit for Endocrine Surgery with a contemporary control group of 501 patients who had an emergency brain CT scan. Clinical variables and prevalence of basal ganglia and carotid artery calcifications were recorded.
From a cohort of 46 patients diagnosed with permanent hypoparathyroidism, 29 were included in the study. The mean duration of disease was 9.2 ± 7 years. Age, diabetes, hypertension, smoking and dyslipidemia were similarly distributed in case and control groups. The prevalence of carotid artery and basal ganglia calcifications was 4 and 20 times more frequent in patients with permanent hypoparathyroidism, respectively. After propensity score matching of the 28 the female patients, 68 controls were matched for age and presence of cardiovascular factors. Cases showed a four-fold prevalence of basal ganglia calcifications, whereas that of carotid calcifications was similar between cases and controls.
A high prevalence of basal ganglia calcifications was observed in patients with post-surgical permanent hypoparathyroidism. It remains unclear whether carotid artery calcification may also be increased.