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David Goltzman, MD
Section Editors
Clifford J Rosen, MD
Joseph I Wolfsdorf, MB, BCh
Deputy Editor
Jean E Mulder, MD


Parathyroid hormone (PTH) is one of the major hormones that regulates serum calcium (along with vitamin D) via direct effects on bone and kidney and indirect effects on the gastrointestinal tract. Hypoparathyroidism occurs when there is destruction of the parathyroid glands (autoimmune, surgical), abnormal parathyroid gland development, altered regulation of PTH production, or impaired PTH action (table 1). When PTH secretion is insufficient, hypocalcemia develops. Hypocalcemia due to hypoparathyroidism may be associated with a spectrum of clinical manifestations, ranging from few if any symptoms, if the hypocalcemia is mild, to life-threatening seizures, refractory heart failure, or laryngospasm if it is severe. In addition to severity of hypocalcemia, the rate of development and chronicity determine the clinical manifestations.

The clinical features, diagnosis, and management of hypoparathyroidism will be reviewed here. The etiology, clinical manifestations, diagnostic approach to, and treatment of hypocalcemia in general are reviewed separately.

(See "Etiology of hypocalcemia in adults".)

(See "Etiology of hypocalcemia in infants and children".)

(See "Neonatal hypocalcemia".)

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Literature review current through: Dec 2017. | This topic last updated: Oct 10, 2017.
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