Clinical data analysis of 22 cases with hypoparathyroidism misdiagnosed as epilepsy.

  Vol. 43 (2) 2022 Neuro endocrinology letters Journal Article   2022; 43(2): 113-118 PubMed PMID:  35933617    Citation

OBJECTIVE: Patients with hypoparathyroidism always present with recurrent tetany caused by hypocalcemia. These patients are usually misdiagnosed with epilepsy and incorrectly treated with anti-epileptic drugs. This research analyzed clinical data about 22 patients with hypoparathyroidism misdiagnosed as epilepsy and summarized the clinical experience for reducing misdiagnosis and incorrect therapy about hypoparathyroidism. METHOD: Totally 160 patients with hypoparathyroidism, administrated to the First Medical Center of Chinese PLA General Hospital from January 1st, 2008, to July 1st, 2021, were enrolled in this report. Clinical data about 22 patients initially misdiagnosed with epilepsy were analyzed. RESULTS: Of the 160 cases with hypoparathyroidism, 22 patients (12 males and 10 females) were misdiagnosed with epilepsy in local hospitals. The misdiagnosis rate was 13.75% and the median duration of misdiagnosis was 8.0 (2.0, 14.8) years. The clinical manifestations of the 22 patients misdiagnosed as epilepsy included tetany 81.8% (18/22), disturbance of consciousness 27.3% (6/22), limb numbness 13.6% (3/22), limb weakness 27.3% (6/22), mental and behavioral abnormality 9.1% (2/22), and memory impairment 13.6% (3/22), etc. Electroencephalogram (EEG) was performed in 9 cases, which presented as slow wave and spike-slow complex wave in 3 cases, slowing down of θ and δ band background in 2 cases and normal EEG in 4 cases. Out of the 15 cases that underwent head computed tomography (CT) scan, in which 13 cases had intracranial calcification. Anti-epileptic drugs were used to treat 22 patients, of which 17 patients were treated with two kinds of drugs. With calcium and calcitriol supplement in all these 22 patients, the anti-epileptic drugs were gradually reduced and withdrawn in 17 cases. In the other 5 cases with secondary epilepsy, the type of anti-epileptic drugs was reduced to one and the clinical condition improved obviously. CONCLUSION: The clinical manifestations of hypoparathyroidism are complex and usually be misdiagnosed as primary epilepsy. Detection of serum calcium, phosphorus and parathyroid hormone is very important to avoid misdiagnosis and incorrect therapy about hypoparathyroidism.

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