When a health care provider learns from a patient’s medical and family history that the patient has had neck surgery or that there is a family history of parathyroid gland disorder, the health care provider should begin an evaluation.
A physical examination should evaluate neuromuscular symptoms, such as twitching of the facial muscles following gentle tapping over the facial nerve in front of the ear. The skin, particularly around the neck, should be evaluated, to see if there is a neck scar from surgery.
The health care provider also will do blood tests to determine the levels of the following:
- Intact parathyroid hormone (PTH)
- Calcium (serum total and ionized)
- 25-hydroxy vitamin D1
Urine also may be tested to determine how much calcium is being removed (excreted) from the body. In addition, a test known as an electrocardiogram, or ECG, may be used to check the heart’s electrical activity for possible abnormal rhythms.1
- Shoback, D. (2008). Hypoparathyroidism. New England Journal of Medicine, 359, 391-403. [top]