, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 739-745,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 12 Sep 2012

Do Low Preoperative Vitamin D Levels Reduce the Accuracy of Quick Parathyroid Hormone in Predicting Postthyroidectomy Hypocalcemia?



Although some studies have suggested that low preoperative 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD) levels may increase the risk of hypocalcemia and decrease the accuracy of single quick parathyroid hormone in predicting hypocalcemia after total thyroidectomy, the literature remains scarce and inconsistent. Our study aimed to address these issues.


Of the 281 consecutive patients who underwent a total/completion total thyroidectomy, 244 (86.8 %) did not require any oral calcium and/or calcitriol supplements (group 1), while 37 (13.2 %) did (group 2) at hospital discharge. 25-OHD level was checked 1 day before surgery, and postoperative quick parathyroid hormone (PTH) was checked at skin closure (PTH-SC). Postoperative serum calcium was checked regularly. Hypocalcemia was defined by the presence of symptoms or adjusted calcium of <1.90 mmol/L. Significant factors for hypocalcemia were determined by univariate and multivariate analyses. The accuracy of PTH-SC in predicting hypocalcemia was measured by area under a receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC), and the AUC of PTH-SC was compared between patients with preoperative 25-OHD <15 and ≥15 ng/mL via bootstrapping.


Preoperative 25-OHD level was not significantly different between groups 1 and 2 (13.1 vs. 12.5 ng/mL, p = 0.175). After adjusting for other significant factors, PTH-SC (odds ratio 2.49, 95 % confidence interval 1.52–4.07, p < 0.001) and parathyroid autotransplantation (odds ratio 3.23, 95 % confidence interval 1.22–8.60, p = 0.019) were the two independent factors for hypocalcemia. The AUC of PTH-SC was similar between those with 25-OHD <15 and ≥15 ng/mL (0.880 vs. 0.850, p = 0.61)


Low 25-OHD was not a significant factor for hypocalcemia and did not lower the accuracy of quick PTH in predicting postthyroidectomy hypocalcemia.