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Preoperative vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased risk of postoperative hypocalcemia after total thyroidectomy


Prior single-institution studies suggest that preoperative vitamin D deficiency (VDD) is associated with postoperative hypocalcemia and a prolonged length of hospital stay following total thyroidectomy. In this study, we employ a multi-institutional, de-identified electronic health records database to address this issue. We hypothesize that total thyroidectomy patients with preoperative VDD will be at an increased associated risk of postoperative hypocalcemia and hospitalization. Using Cerner Health Facts, we identified 2447 patients who underwent total or subtotal thyroidectomy between 2008 and 2016 and who had a documented 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration obtained within 12 months of the surgery date using International Classification of Diseases 9/10, Current Procedural Terminology and Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System codes. Data from 984 patients who underwent total thyroidectomy were analyzed. Analysis of variance models estimated the effect of VDD on postoperative numerical variables. Multiple logistic regression estimated the risk of postoperative hypocalcemia and hospital stay, adjusting for any imbalanced demographic variables and operative characteristics. On average, postoperative total calcium concentrations in the VDD group were lower by 0.3 mg/dL compared with that of the non-VDD group (p<0.01). The risk of postoperative hypocalcemia was 2.2 times higher in the VDD group compared with the non-VDD group (p<0.01). Although the length of hospital stay after thyroidectomy was longer in the VDD group compared with the non-VDD group (p=0.03), VDD is not an independent risk factor for prolonged hospitalization following thyroidectomy (p=0.13). VDD is associated with a higher risk of hypocalcemia following total thyroidectomy. Prethyroidectomy operative screening for VDD should be considered.

  • endocrinology
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D 2

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Data may be obtained from a third party and are not publicly available.

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