Predictors of graft function after parathyroid autotransplantation during thyroid surgery

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The purpose of this study was to identify predictors associated with graft function after parathyroid autotransplantation during thyroid surgery.


One hundred fifty patients who underwent thyroid surgery with parathyroid autotransplantation were enrolled prospectively. During surgery, the misresected or devascularized parathyroid gland was autografted in the brachioradialis muscle of the forearm. Parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels in both arms were measured regularly after surgery. Patient age, sex, extent of surgery, and postoperative serum calcium levels were recorded.


Graft function was documented in 115 patients (76.7%). Univariate analysis revealed that graft function had a significant association with lower serum calcium level 1 day after surgery. The cutoff point was 2.11 mmol/L, which was confirmed by a receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve.


Low serum calcium levels in the early postoperative period may stimulate a functional recovery in an autografted parathyroid gland. Therefore, a moderate calcium supplement strategy was recommended for patients who underwent parathyroid autotransplantation during the early stage after total thyroidectomy.

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