Management of Parathyroid Disease during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Nivaran Aojula, Andrew Ready, Neil Gittoes, Zaki Hassan-Smith

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Abstract

The coronavirus disease, COVID-19, has caused widespread and sustained disruption to healthcare, not only in the delivery of emergency care, but knock-on consequences have resulted in major delays to the delivery of elective care, including surgery. COVID-19 has accelerated novel pathways for delivering clinical services, many of which have an increased reliance on technology. COVID-19 has impacted care for patients with both hypoparathyroidism and hyperparathyroidism. The role of vitamin D in the prevention of severe COVID-19 infection has also been widely debated. Severe hypocalcemia can be precipitated by infection in patients with hypoparathyroidism. With this in mind, compliance with medical management, including calcium and vitamin D supplementation, is crucial. Technology in the form of text message reminders and smartphone apps may have a key role in ensuring this. Furthermore, clinicians should ensure that patients are educated on the symptoms of hypocalcemia and the steps needing to be taken should these symptoms be experienced. Patients with primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) should be educated on the symptoms of hypercalcemia, as well as the importance of remaining adequately hydrated. In addition, patients should be reassured that the postponement of parathyroidectomy is likely to have negligible impact on their condition; for those with symptomatic hypercalcemia, cinacalcet can be considered as an interim measure.
Original languageEnglish
Article number920
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Volume10
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Feb 2021

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