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Reversible peripheral neuropathy in idiopathic hypoparathyroidism

Authors


Manvir Bhatia Associate Professor, In-charge, Clinical Neurophysiology, Department of Neurology, Neuroscience Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi 110029, India Tel.: +91 11 651 3170 Fax: +91 11 686 2663, e-mail: mbhatia@medinst.ernet.in

Abstract

We describe a 40-year-old male with idiopathic hypoparathyroidism presenting with tetany, proximal weakness, signs of hypocalcaemia including Chvostek and Trousseau's and diminished tendon reflexes in the upper and lower limbs. Electrophysiological studies revealed a sensory-motor neuropathy, predominantly axonal as evidenced by decreased CMAP amplitudes, with normal distal latencies-velocites, except for median nerve where a prolonged distal latency was observed. Serial nerve conduction studies were performed at repeated intervals for 2 years, while he received treatment for hypoparathyroidism (calcium and vitamin D supplementation). A progressive improvement in neuropathy both clinical and on electrophysiological studies was observed. Occurrence of peripheral neuropathy in hypocalcaemic states such as hypoparathyroidism and its reversibility after normalization of calcium homeostasis lend proof to the role of critical Ca2+ ion concentration in the normal functioning of the peripheral axons.

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