The aim of the study was to compare preoperative findings, serum levels of calcium and parathormone (PTH) and outcome of patients undergoing surgery for primary hyperparathyroidism (pHPT) aged over 70 years with younger patients.
Material and methods. Between January 1, 1996 and September 30, 2011 186 patients underwent surgery for pHPT. Patient data were collected from chart reviews and an electronically stored database. Groups were defined as patients aged 70 years or older and patients younger than 70 years. Outcome comparison included operation time, tumor size, pre- and postoperative serum levels of calcium and PTH and length of stay in hospital. Complications were defined as clinical and laboratory signs of hypocalcemia, persistent elevated serum calcium, temporary or persistent recurrent laryngeal nerve paralysis, bleeding with need for reoperation, surgical site infection or need of tracheotomy.
Results. Parathyroidectomy alone was performed in 39.2% of patients. In 60.8% partial or total thyroidectomy was conducted simultaneously. More older patients had history of stroke and/or suffered from diabetes. Preoperative serum calcium and PTH did not differ between groups, but older patients displayed higher postoperative serum calcium (p=0.01). No significant differences between the two groups were observed regarding duration of surgery, surgical success rates, postoperative complications and hospitalization time.
Conclusions. Even though older patients had more risk factors, our data suggest that there was no difference in surgical management and outcome. Decision for surgical management of pHPT should be done regardless of age.