The reported rate of permanent hypoparathyroidism is highly variable and mostly rely on reported complication data from national or institutional registries.
All patients who underwent total thyroidectomy in Sweden from 2005 to 2015 were identified through Scandinavian Quality Register for Thyroid, Parathyroid and Adrenal Surgery and the Swedish National Patient Register. Patients were matched to outcome data from the Swedish Prescribed Drug Register. Permanent hypoparathyroidism was defined as treatment with calcium and/or active vitamin D more than 1 year after surgery.
Seven thousand eight hundred fifty-two patients were included and 938 (12.5%) developed permanent hypoparathyroidism. The risk was lower in patients registered in the quality register (11.0% vs 16%, P < 0.001). In a multivariable analysis there was a higher risk of permanent hypoparathyroidism in patients with parathyroid autotransplantation [Odds ratio (OR) 1.72; 95% confidence interval 1.47-2.01], center-volume <100 thyroidectomies per year (OR 1.22; 1.03-1.44), age above 60 year (OR 1.64; 1.36-1.98) and female sex (OR 1.27; 1.05-1.54). Reported data from the quality register only identified 178 of all 938 patients with permanent hypoparathyroidism.
The risk of permanent hypoparathyroidism after total thyroidectomy was high and associated with parathyroid autotransplantation, higher age, female sex and surgery at a low volume center. Reported follow-up data might underestimate the rate of permanent hypoparathyroidism.