Risk of permanent hypoparathyroidism requiring calcitriol therapy in a population-based cohort of adults older than 65 undergoing total thyroidectomy for Graves' disease. Thyroid : official journal of the American Thyroid Association Seib, C. D., Meng, T., Cisco, R. M., Lin, D. T., McAninch, E. A., Chen, J., Tamura, M. K., Trickey, A. W., Kebebew, E. 2022


Total thyroidectomy for Graves' disease (GD) is associated with rapid treatment of hyperthyroidism and low recurrence rates. However, it carries the risk of surgical complications including permanent hypoparathyroidism, which contribute to long-term impaired quality of life. The objective of this study was to determine the incidence of permanent hypoparathyroidism requiring calcitriol therapy among a population-based cohort of older adults undergoing total thyroidectomy for GD in the U.S.We performed a population-based cohort study using 100% Medicare claims from beneficiaries older than 65 with GD who underwent total thyroidectomy from 2007 to 2017. We required continuous enrollment in Medicare Parts A, B, and D for 12 months before and after surgery to ensure access to comprehensive claims data. Patients were excluded if they had a preoperative diagnosis of thyroid cancer or were on long-term preoperative calcitriol. Our primary outcome was permanent hypoparathyroidism, which was identified based on persistent use of calcitriol between 6-12 months following thyroidectomy. We used multivariable logistic regression to identify characteristics associated with permanent hypoparathyroidism, including patient age, sex, race/ethnicity, neighborhood disadvantage, Charlson-Deyo Comorbidity Index, urban or rural residence, and frailty.We identified 4,650 patients who underwent total thyroidectomy for GD during the study period and met inclusion criteria (mean age 72.8 years [SD 5.5], 86% female, and 79% white). Among this surgical cohort, 104 (2.2%, 95% CI: 1.8-2.7%) patients developed permanent hypoparathyroidism requiring calcitriol therapy. Patients who developed permanent hypoparathyroidism were on average older (mean age 74.1 vs. 72.8 years) than those who did not develop permanent hypoparathyroidism (p=0.04). On multivariable regression, older age was the only patient characteristic associated with permanent hypoparathyroidism (odds ratio [OR] age = 76 years 1.68 [95% CI 1.13-2.51] compared to age 66-75 years).The risk of permanent hypoparathyroidism requiring calcitriol therapy among this national, U.S. population-based cohort of older adults with GD treated with total thyroidectomy was low, even when considering operations performed by a heterogeneous group of surgeons. These findings suggest the risk of hypoparathyroidism should not be a deterrent to operative management for GD in older adults who are appropriate surgical candidates.

View details for DOI 10.1089/thy.2022.0140

View details for PubMedID 36416252