Although transient hypocalcemia following kidney transplantation can occur, severe refractory hypocalcemia is uncommon. We report a case of a 31-yr-old highly sensitized man with end-stage renal disease caused by reflux nephropathy, who received an expanded criteria deceased donor kidney transplant. The post-transplant course was significant for profound hypocalcemia despite treatment with large doses of calcium and vitamin D, in the setting of severe hypoparathyroidism following a subtotal parathyroidectomy three yr prior to the transplant. His course was also complicated by suboptimal allograft function with significant new vascular changes seen in the allograft biopsy by seven wk post-transplant. Teriparatide (recombinant parathyroid hormone) injections were initiated (up to three times daily) with improvement in the vascular changes and a decrease in calcium phosphate calcification in biopsy, as well as reduction in hypercalciuria, restoration of calcium phosphate homeostasis and stabilization of allograft function. We describe six other cases of post-transplant hypoparathyroidism, with five of six having decreased allograft function and three of those five demonstrating significant accelerated vascular changes on biopsy. We discuss the use of teriparatide injections for the treatment of renal transplant recipients with impaired renal function in the setting of hypoparathyroidism.
- Parathyroid hormone