Hypoparathyroidism and pseudohypoparathyroidism in pregnancy: an Italian retrospective observational study

Orphanet J Rare Dis. 2021 Oct 9;16(1):421. doi: 10.1186/s13023-021-02053-3.


Background: Hypoparathyroidism (HypoPT) or pseudo-hypoparathyroidism (pseudo-HypoPT) during pregnancy may cause maternal and fetal/neonatal complications. In this regard, only a few case reports or case series of pregnant or lactating women have been published. The purpose of this study was to describe clinical and biochemical course, pharmacological management, and potential adverse events during pregnancy and post-partum in pregnant women with HypoPT or pseudo-HypoPT. This was a retrospective, observational, multicenter, study involving nine Italian referral centers for endocrine diseases affiliated with the Italian Society of Endocrinology and involved in "Hypoparathyroidism Working Group".

Results: This study identified a cohort of 28 women (followed between 2005 and 2018) with HypoPT (n = 25, 84% postsurgical, 16% idiopathic/autoimmune) and pseudo-HypoPT (n = 3). In HypoPT women, the mean calcium carbonate dose tended to increase gradually from the first to third trimester (+ 12.6%) in pregnancy. This average increase in the third trimester was significantly greater compared to the pre-pregnancy period (p value = 0.03). However, analyzing the individual cases, in 44% the mean calcium dosage remained unchanged throughout gestation. Mean calcitriol doses tended to increase during pregnancy, with a statistically significant increase between the third trimester and the pre-pregnancy period (p value = 0.02). Nevertheless, analyzing the individual cases, in the third trimester most women with HypoPT (64%) maintained the same dosage of calcitriol compared to the first trimester. Both mean calcium carbonate and calcitriol doses tended to decrease from the third trimester to the post-partum six months. Most identified women (~ 70%) did not display maternal complications and (~ 90%) maintained mean serum albumin-corrected total calcium levels within the low-to-mid normal reference range (8.5 ± 0.8 mg/dl) during pregnancy. The main complications related to pregnancy period included: preterm birth (n = 3 HypoPT women), and history of miscarriages (n = 6 HypoPT women and n = 2 pseudo-HypoPT women).

Conclusion: This study shows that mean serum albumin-corrected total calcium levels were carefully monitored during pregnancy and post-pregnancy, with limited evaluation of other biochemical parameters, such as serum phosphate, 24 h urinary calcium, 25-OH vitamin D, and creatinine clearance. To avoid complications in mothers affected by (HypoPT) or (pseudo-HypoPT) and offspring, intense biochemical, clinical and pharmacological monitoring during pregnancy and breastfeeding is highly recommended.

Keywords: Breastfeeding; Calcitriol; Calcium carbonate; Hypocalcemia; Hypoparathyroidism; Miscarriages; Pregnancy; Preterm birth; Pseudohypoparathyroidism; Treatment.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypoparathyroidism* / drug therapy
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Italy
  • Lactation
  • Pregnancy
  • Premature Birth*
  • Pseudohypoparathyroidism*