The role of circulating N-terminal parathyroid hormone fragments in the early postparathyroid adenomectomy period.
Calcium metabolism and hormonal control after parathyroid adenomectomy are poorly understood. During the first postoperative hours, biologically active intact parathyroid hormone (PTH) (hPTH 1-84) levels are subnormal and, in spite of down-regulation of PTH peripheral receptors (caused by hypercalcemia before surgery), total and ionized calcium concentrations are maintained in the normal range. Serum samples from 20 patients with primary hyperparathyroidism were collected in the immediate preoperative period and 4 and 48 hours after excision of one parathyroid adenoma. Total and ionized calcium, intact (iPTH), midregion (mrPTH) specific PTH (hPTH 53-68), and N-terminal PTH (N-PTH) serum concentrations were determined. Levels of N-PTH were obtained with a radioimmunoassay by a modified reverse immunoextraction procedure that measures N-PTH fragments after exclusion of the interfering iPTH. No significant correlation was found between ionized and total calcium, mrPTH, and iPTH. However, total and ionized calcium levels correlated well with N-PTH (r = 0.9999, p = 0.0054, and r = 0.9993, and p = 0.0226, respectively). The data suggest that the relatively moderate decrease in calcium levels, in spite of marked decrease in circulating iPTH during the first postoperative hours, may be attributable to the minimal decrease of the bioactive N-PTH epitope concentrations. We would hypothesize that hPTH (1-34) fragments may play a significant role in regulating serum calcium levels in the early postoperative period.
Schachter, PP; Christy, MD; Shabtay, M; Ayalon, A; Leight, GS
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