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Minerva Chirurgica 2019 December;74(6):445-51

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4733.19.08028-3

Copyright © 2019 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Possible role of low magnesium levels in the onset of postoperative hypoparathyroidism following thyroidectomy

Michele N. MINUTO 1, 2 , Gian L. ANSALDO 1, Gregorio SANTORI 2, Sergio BERTOGLIO 1, 2, Simona REINA 1, 2, Ferdinando CAFIERO 1, Matteo MASCHERINI 1, 2, Emanuela VARALDO 1, 2

1 U.O. Chirurgia 1, S.S. Chirurgia Endocrina, IRCCS Ospedale Policlinico San Martino, Genoa, Italy; 2 Department of Surgical Sciences (DISC), University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy



BACKGROUND: A positive correlation between calcium and magnesium serum levels is well known and depends upon various factors. This study aims at verifying the existence of this association in a retrospective series of patients who underwent thyroid surgery.
METHODS: Two hundred and eighty-five consecutive patients (202 female, 83 male, mean age 57 years) who underwent at least total thyroidectomy (TT) and had a complete clinical and biochemical pre- and postoperative evaluation were included in the study. Patients were evaluated with regard to: sex, age, indications for surgery, operative time, number of accidentally removed parathyroids, extent and time of surgery, thyroiditis, final histology, pre- and postoperative levels of calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, and creatinine, presence of symptoms of hypocalcemia. Statistical analysis was performed using the R software.
RESULTS: In the postoperative period, biochemical hypocalcemia (<8.5 mg/dL) was observed in 126 patients (44%) and severe hypocalcemia (<7.5 mg/dL, a level indicating the need for longer hospitalization) was seen in 40 (14%). When analyzing patients with and without postoperative hypocalcemia, the factors affecting postoperative biochemical hypocalcemia were: older age (P=0.019), longer operative time (P=0.039), and a highly significant correlation between postoperative calcium and magnesium levels (r=0.432; P<0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: The only factor among the ones we analyzed in this retrospective study that would appear to be linked to the onset of clinically relevant hypocalcemia is low magnesium levels in the postoperative period. A prospective randomized study with a group of patients undergoing magnesium replacement in the postoperative period can clarify the possible role of magnesium repletion on hypocalcemia.


KEY WORDS: Thyroid; Hypocalcemia; Hypoparathyroidism; Magnesium; Calcium

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