Parathyroid| Volume 171, ISSUE 1, P69-76, January 2022

Prevalence and risk factors for tertiary hyperparathyroidism in kidney transplant recipients



      Tertiary hyperparathyroidism after kidney transplantation has been associated with graft dysfunction, cardiovascular morbidity, and osteopenia; however, its true prevalence is unclear. The objective of our study was to evaluate the prevalence of and risk factors for tertiary hyperparathyroidism.


      A prospective cohort of 849 adult kidney transplantation recipients (December 2008–February 2020) was used to estimate the prevalence of hyperparathyroidism 1-year post-kidney transplant. Tertiary hyperparathyroidism was defined as hypercalcemia (≥10mg/dL) and hyperparathyroidism (parathyroid hormone≥70pg/mL) 1-year post-kidney transplantation. Modified Poisson regression models were used to evaluate risk factors associated with the development of both persistent hyperparathyroidism and tertiary hyperparathyroidism.


      Among kidney transplantation recipients, 524 (61.7%) had persistent hyperparathyroidism and 182 (21.5%) had tertiary hyperparathyroidism at 1-year post-kidney transplantation. Calcimimetic use before kidney transplantation was associated with 1.30-fold higher risk of persistent hyperparathyroidism (adjusted prevalence ratio = 1.30, 95% CI: 1.12–1.51) and 1.84-fold higher risk of tertiary hyperparathyroidism (adjusted prevalence ratio = 1.84, 95% CI: 1.25–2.72). Pre-kidney transplantation parathyroid hormone ≥300 pg/mL was associated with 1.49-fold higher risk of persistent hyperparathyroidism (adjusted prevalence ratio = 1.49, 95% CI = 1.19–1.85) and 2.21-fold higher risk of tertiary hyperparathyroidism (adjusted prevalence ratio = 2.21, 95% CI = 1.25-3.90). Pre–kidney transplantation tertiary hyperparathyroidism was associated with an increased risk of post-kidney transplantation tertiary hyperparathyroidism (adjusted prevalence ratio = 1.71, 95% CI = 1.29–2.27), but not persistent hyperparathyroidism. Furthermore, 73.0% of patients with persistent hyperparathyroidism and 61.5% with tertiary hyperparathyroidism did not receive any treatment at 1-year post-kidney transplantation.


      Persistent hyperparathyroidism affected 61.7% and tertiary hyperparathyroidism affected 21.5% of kidney transplantation recipients; however, the majority of patients were not treated. Pre–kidney transplantation parathyroid hormone levels ≥300pg/mL and the use of calcimimetics are associated with the development of tertiary hyperparathyroidism. These findings encourage the re-evaluation of recommended pre-kidney transplantation parathyroid hormone thresholds and reconsideration of pre-kidney transplantation secondary hyperparathyroidism treatments to avoid the adverse sequelae of tertiary hyperparathyroidism in kidney transplantation recipients.
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