Hypoparathyroidism and pseudohypoparathyroidism

Arq Bras Endocrinol Metabol. 2006 Aug;50(4):664-73. doi: 10.1590/s0004-27302006000400012.


The principal function of the parathyroid hormone (PTH) is maintenance of calcium plasmatic levels, withdrawing the calcium from bone tissue, reabsorbing it from the glomerular filtrate, and indirectly increasing its intestinal absorption by stimulating active vitamin D (calcitriol) production. Additionally, the PTH prompts an increase in urinary excretion of phosphorus and bicarbonate, seeking a larger quantity of free calcium available in circulation. Two mechanisms may alter its function, limiting its control on calcium: insufficient PTH production by the parathyroids (hypoparathyroidism), or a resistance against its action in target tissues (pseudohypoparathyroidism). In both cases, there are significantly reduced levels of plasmatic calcium associated with hyperphosphatemia. Clinical cases are characterized by nervous hyperexcitability, with paresthesia, cramps, tetany, hyperreflexia, convulsions, and tetanic crisis. Abnormalities such as cataracts and basal ganglia calcification are also typical of these diseases. Treatment consists of oral calcium supplementation associated with increased doses of vitamin D derivatives.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Calcitriol / blood
  • Calcium / blood*
  • Calcium, Dietary / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Hypocalcemia / blood
  • Hypocalcemia / diagnosis
  • Hypoparathyroidism / blood
  • Hypoparathyroidism / diagnosis*
  • Hypoparathyroidism / drug therapy
  • Parathyroid Hormone / blood
  • Parathyroid Hormone / physiology*
  • Phosphorus / blood
  • Pseudohypoparathyroidism / blood
  • Pseudohypoparathyroidism / diagnosis*
  • Pseudohypoparathyroidism / drug therapy
  • Vitamin D / blood
  • Vitamin D / therapeutic use


  • Calcium, Dietary
  • PTH protein, human
  • Parathyroid Hormone
  • Vitamin D
  • Phosphorus
  • Calcitriol
  • Calcium