WHEN tetany occurs in a patient soon after surgery on the thyroid or parathyroid glands, hypocalcemia is immediately suspected. However, the diagnosis of hypoparathyroidism is not always so obvious, and many such patients have neurological symptoms such as seizures, increased intracranial pressure, or chorea as the primary manifestations of their hypocalcemia. Major reviews of this subject fail to stress this point.1,2
This report was prompted by the recent study of two patients who presented with neurologic symptoms and later proved to have hypoparathyroidism. These two cases will be reported in detail, and the neurological manifestations in 40 additional patients with hypoparathyroidism seen at this institution since 1944 will be presented.
Material and Methods
The records of all patients discharged from The University of Texas Medical Branch Hospitals between 1944 and 1963 with diagnoses of tetany, idiopathic hypoparathyroidism, pseudohypoparathyroidism, and postsurgical hypoparathyroidism were reviewed. The diagnosis of idiopathic