Management of endocrine disease: Hypoparathyroidism in pregnancy: Review and evidence-based recommendations for management

Aliya A. Khan, Bart Clarke, Lars Rejnmark, Maria Luisa Brandi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Purpose: Review calcium homeostasis in pregnancy and provide evidence-based best practice recommendations for the management of hypoparathyroidism in pregnancy. Methods: We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane databases from January 2000 to April 1, 2018. A total of 65 articles were included in the final review. Conclusions: During pregnancy, calcitriol levels increase by two- to-three-fold resulting in enhanced intestinal calcium absorption. The renal filtered calcium load increases leading to hypercalciuria. PTHrP production by the placenta and breasts increases by three-fold, and this may lower the doses of calcium and calcitriol required during pregnancy in mothers with hypoparathyroidism. The literature however describes a wide variation in the required doses of calcium and calcitriol during pregnancy in hypoparathyroid mothers, with some women requiring higher doses of calcitriol, whereas others require lower doses. Close monitoring is necessary as hypercalcemia in the mother may suppress the fetal parathyroid gland development. Also hypocalcemia in the mother is harmful as it may result in secondary hyperparathyroidism in the fetus. This may be associated with demineralization of the fetal skeleton and the development of intrauterine fractures. Inadequate treatment of hypoparathyroidism may also result in uterine contractions and an increased risk of miscarriage. Treatment targets during pregnancy are to maintain a low normal serum calcium. Calcium, calcitriol and vitamin D supplements are safe during pregnancy. Close monitoring of the mother with a multidisciplinary team is advised for optimal care. If calcium homeostasis is well controlled during pregnancy, most women with hypoparathyroidism have an uncomplicated pregnancy and give birth to healthy babies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R37-R44
JournalEuropean journal of endocrinology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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