Endocr Pract. 2019 Nov;25(11):1127-1136. doi: 10.4158/EP-2019-0035. Epub 2019 Aug 15.


Objective: Due to a lack of typical clinical manifestations and physiologic changes in calcium metabolism during pregnancy, primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) during pregnancy is commonly underdiagnosed, and treatment during this unique period presents a clinical challenge. Hence, the aim of the present study was to summarize the cases of 8 pregnant patients with PHPT who were treated at our center to provide better clinical insight into this condition. Methods: Our study comprised a retrospective analysis of 8 pregnant PHPT patients and a control group of 22 age-matched, nonpregnant PHPT patients during the same period. Clinical manifestations, biochemical indices, pathologic types, therapeutic strategies, and pregnancy outcomes were compiled, and 25 patients were screened for germline mutations in the MEN1, CDC73, and CaSR genes. Results: The most-common symptoms in the pregnancy group involved the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) in 7/8 cases (87.5%), followed by urinary system involvement (50%) and joint pain (50%). In contrast, GIT symptoms in the control group were significantly less common (31.82%; P = .012). There was a trend of more-severe elevation of serum parathyroid hormone levels in the control group compared to that in the pregnancy group (P = .053). No differences were found in blood-ionized calcium, phosphate, or alkaline phosphatase levels between the two groups. In the pregnancy group, the serum albumin-corrected calcium level was reduced from 3.42 ± 0.66 mmol/L to 2.89 ± 0.46 mmol/L (P = .025) after hydration and medical treatment. Six patients, three of whom were in the second trimester of pregnancy, underwent parathyroidectomy, and 3 patients were after childbirth or had induced labor. Postoperative serum calcium levels were reduced to within the normal range. Fetal/neonatal complications were observed in 4 of 5 patients who had not received surgical treatment during pregnancy. In addition, 2 of 5 pregnant PHPT patients were found to carry MEN1 mutations, whereas no mutations were detected in any of the 20 nonpregnant patients. Conclusion: In this case series of PHPT during pregnancy, the most-common complaint of GIT symptoms may be easily confused with pregnancy reactions, which might contribute to the under- or misdiagnosis of this clinical entity. Patients who did not receive surgical treatment during pregnancy had high incidences of fetal/neonatal complications and worse pregnancy outcomes. Abbreviations: CaSR = calcium-sensing receptor; CDC73 = cell division cycle 73; GIT = gastrointestinal tract; MEN = multiple endocrine neoplasia; PHPT = primary hyperparathyroidism; PTH = parathyroid hormone; SCa = serum calcium.

MeSH terms

  • Calcium
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperparathyroidism, Primary*
  • Parathyroid Hormone
  • Parathyroidectomy
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications*
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Parathyroid Hormone
  • Calcium