Predictors of post-thyroidectomy hypocalcaemia: a systematic and narrative review

A. E. L. McMurran (Lead / Corresponding author), R. Blundell, V. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Hypocalcaemia is the most common complication after total or completion thyroidectomy. This study assesses recent evidence on predictive factors for post-thyroidectomy hypocalcaemia in order to identify the patients affected and aid prevention.

Method: Two authors independently assessed articles and extracted data to provide a narrative synthesis. This study was an updated systematic search and narrative review regarding predictors of post-thyroidectomy hypocalcaemia using the Ovid Medline, Embase, Cochrane and Cinahl databases. Results were limited to papers published from January 2012 to August 2019.

Results: Sixty-three observational studies with a total of 210 401 patients met the inclusion criteria. The median incidence was 27.5 per cent for transient biochemical hypocalcaemia, 12.5 per cent for symptomatic hypocalcaemia and 2.2 per cent for permanent hypocalcaemia. The most frequent statistically significant predictor of hypocalcaemia was peri-operative parathyroid hormone level. Symptomatic hypocalcaemia and permanent hypocalcaemia were seen more frequently in patients undergoing concomitant neck dissection.

Conclusion: Many factors have been studied for their link to post-thyroidectomy hypocalcaemia, and this study assesses the recent evidence presented in each case.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-552
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Laryngology and Otology
Issue number6
Early online date10 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • Hypocalcemia
  • Thyroidectomy
  • Postoperative Complications


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