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Short‐term medical treatment of hypercalcaemia in primary hyperparathyroidism predicts symptomatic response after parathyroidectomy.

Published: 9th October 2019

Authors: A. Koman, S. Ohlsson, R. Bränström, Y. Pernow, R. Bränström, I.‐L. Nilsson et al.

Background

Primary hyperparathyroidism is often associated with non‐disease‐specific symptoms. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether normalization of hypercalcaemia with short‐term medical treatment can be used to predict the effects of parathyroidectomy and guide in surgical decision‐making.

Method

This observational study included patients who received calcimimetic treatment for 4 weeks before parathyroidectomy (30–60 mg daily). A panel of tests was used to assess various aspects of quality of life (European Organisation and Treatment of Cancer QLQ‐C30 core questionnaire, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and Positive State of Mind questionnaire), cognitive function (Montreal Cognitive Assessment) and muscle strength (timed‐stands test). The tests were carried out at baseline, after 4 weeks of calcimimetic treatment, and at 6 weeks and 6 months after parathyroidectomy. The predictive values of changes during calcimimetic treatment were determined for each test.

Results

The study included 110 patients of median age 62 years (91 women). Calcimimetic treatment resulted in normalization of calcium levels and improvements in quality‐of‐life parameters. The time spent on the timed‐stands test was significantly shortened. Eleven of 38 participants with a baseline Montreal Cognitive Assessment score below 26, indicating mild cognitive impairment, reached scores of at least 26 during treatment with calcimimetic. Improvements during treatment with calcimimetic correlated well with postoperative outcomes (positive predictive values 74–96 per cent).

Conclusion

The method described in this study may be used to aid surgical decision‐making for patients with primary hyperparathyroidism and non‐disease‐specific symptoms by predicting the effects of normalization of hypercalcaemia.

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