The risk of postoperative hungry bone syndrome after parathyroidectomy for secondary hyperparathyroidism of renal origin may alter the course of treatment, including the hospital length of stay and readmission rates. We sought to identify additional patient or hospital factors that might contribute to hungry bone syndrome after parathyroidectomy in patients with secondary hyperparathyroidism of renal origin.
Patients who underwent a parathyroidectomy for secondary hyperparathyroidism of renal origin were identified in a geographically diverse, 10-state, discharge data set. Covariates included demographic data, payer status, 31 comorbidities, and hospital characteristics. The primary outcome variable of interest was hospital length of stay. Secondary outcomes were complications and 30-day readmission.
Of 796 patients studied, 164 patients (20.6%) were diagnosed with hungry bone syndrome. There were no differences in the rates of hungry bone syndrome by race or number of comorbidities. The average age of hungry bone syndrome patients (45.7 years ± 13.9) was younger than that of non–hungry bone syndrome patients (50.7 ± 14.8; P < .001). Hungry bone syndrome was more common among obese patients than nonobese patients (25.0% vs 15.8%; P < .001). Parathyroid autotransplant was performed at similar rates in hungry bone syndrome and non–hungry bone syndrome patients (23.8% vs 23.1%; P = .821). Median length of stay was significantly longer for hungry bone syndrome patients (6 days, interquartile range: [4, 8] versus 3 days, interquartile range: [2–6]; P < .001). Similar 30-day readmission rates were observed (hungry bone syndrome: 41 (25%) versus non–hungry bone syndrome: 147 (23%); P = .640).
Hungry bone syndrome occurs in 1 of 5 patients after parathyroidectomy for secondary hyperparathyroidism of renal origin. Patients should be informed of the possibility of a relatively long (6 days) length of stay after surgery as well as the moderate possibility (>20%) of another hospitalization within the 30-day postdischarge period.
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Published online: September 06, 2021
Accepted: August 5, 2021
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