Risk stratification for outpatient parathyroidectomy and predictors of postoperative complications

Sarah M. Kidwai, Arjun K. Parasher, Yan W. Ho, Marita S. Teng, Eric M. Genden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Introduction The mainstay of treatment for primary hyperparathyroidism is surgery. Hypocalcemia after parathyroidectomy is common and poses a significant challenge, leading to increased patient morbidity and health care costs. While several groups have found predictor factors for hypocalcemia, none have created a risk stratification model. Here, we recognize important factors and optimal cut-off values that can allow risk stratification of patients. Methods A single-institution retrospective chart review of 339 patients that underwent parathyroidectomy from 2009 to 2012 was conducted. Pre-operative, intra-operative, and post-operative data were collected. A non-routine outcome was defined as post-operative admission, outpatient hypocalcemia-related complication, or inpatient hypocalcemia-related complication. The preoperative or intraoperative factors of patients that experienced a non-routine outcome were compared to those that did not. Optimal cut-off values were determined for preoperative and intraoperative factors and a risk stratification method was created. Results A total of 39 patients experienced a non-routine outcome including 24 postoperative admissions, 2 inpatient hypocalcemia-related complications, and 17 outpatient hypocalcemia-related complications. Patients with a non-routine outcome displayed a trend toward preoperative hypercalcemia (calcium >11.0 mg/dL) than not (p = 0.0543). The median preoperative parathyroid hormone (PTH) level was significantly higher among patients with a non-routine outcome (p = 0.0037). Furthermore, the median percent decrease in PTH at 20 min intraoperatively among patients with a non-routine outcome was significantly higher compared to those that did not (p = 0.0421). The optimal cut-off value for preoperative PTH was 129 pg/mL and for median percent decrease in intraoperative PTH at 20 min was 90.7% for predicting a non-routine outcome. A risk stratification model was created based on these data. Conclusion Our analysis reveals that patients with larger intraoperative decrease in PTH levels (greater than 90.7% drop at 20 min), higher preoperative hypercalcemia (greater than 11 mg/dL), and higher preoperative PTH levels (greater than 129 pg/mL) are more likely to experience a non-routine outcome during outpatient parathyroidectomy. Patients can be risk stratified based on this criteria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-30
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017


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