Bone mineral density evolution after successful parathyroidectomy in patients with normocalcemic primary hyperparathyroidism

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Aug;98(8):3213-20. doi: 10.1210/jc.2013-1518. Epub 2013 Jun 19.


Context: It is unclear whether bone mineral density (BMD) improves in patients with normocalcemic primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) after parathyroidectomy (PTX).

Objective: The objective of the study was to evaluate and compare the impact of PTX on BMD change at 1 year in normocalcemic vs hypercalcemic PHPT.

Design: This was a longitudinal cohort study.

Setting: The study took place at a referral center.

Patients: We included 60 PHPT patients (mean age 64.0 ± 10.1 years), successfully treated by PTX by the same surgeon. Two groups were individualized according to baseline serum total (albumin corrected) calcium: 39 patients with normal baseline serum total calcium (normocalcemic group) and 21 patients with hypercalcemia at baseline (hypercalcemic group).

Main outcome measure: BMD changes 1 year after PTX were measured.

Results: In the normocalcemic group, BMD increased significantly by +2.3 ± 5.0% at the spine (P = .016) and +1.9 ± 5.7% at the hip (P = .048). In the hypercalcemic group, BMD increased significantly by +4.0 ± 3.8% at the spine (P = .0003) and +3.2 ± 4.2% at the hip (P = .003). There was no difference in these BMD gains between both groups (P > .1). The presence of multiple adenomas or hyperplasia was more frequent in the normocalcemic group than in the hypercalcemic group (P = .04).

Conclusion: Our results indicate for the first time that successful PTX in normocalcemic PHPT patients with osteoporosis is followed with mild but significant BMD improvement at the spine and hip at 1 year, comparable with that observed in hypercalcemic PHPT, suggesting that PTX may be beneficial in normocalcemic PHPT.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Bone Density*
  • Calcium / blood
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperparathyroidism, Primary / blood
  • Hyperparathyroidism, Primary / pathology
  • Hyperparathyroidism, Primary / surgery*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parathyroid Hormone / blood
  • Parathyroidectomy*
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives
  • Vitamin D / blood


  • Parathyroid Hormone
  • Vitamin D
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D
  • Calcium