European Journal of Endocrinology

 Cardiovascular manifestations of primary hyperparathyroidism: a narrative review

Data on cardiovascular disease in primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) are controversial; indeed, at present, cardiovascular involvement is not included among the criteria needed for parathyroidectomy. Aim of this narrative review is to analyze the available literature in an effort to better characterize cardiovascular involvement in PHPT. Due to physiological effects of both parathyroid hormone (PTH) and calcium on cardiomyocyte, cardiac conduction system, smooth vascular, endothelial and pancreatic beta cells, a number of data have been published regarding associations between symptomatic and mild PHPT with hypertension, arrhythmias, endothelial dysfunction (an early marker of atherosclerosis), glucose metabolism impairment and metabolic syndrome. However, the results, mainly derived from observational studies, are inconsistent. Furthermore, parathyroidectomy resulted in conflicting outcomes, which may be linked to several potential biases. In particular, differences in the methods utilized for excluding confounding co-existing cardiovascular risk factors together with differences in patient characteristics, with varying degrees of hypercalcemia, may have contributed to these discrepancies. The only meta-analysis carried out in PHPT patients, revealed a positive effect of parathyroidectomy on left ventricular mass index (a predictor of cardiovascular mortality) and more importantly, that the highest pre-operative PTH levels were associated with the greatest improvements. In normocalcemic PHPT, it has been demonstrated that cardiovascular risk factors are almost similar compared to hypercalcemic PHPT, thus strengthening the role of PTH in the cardiovascular involvement. Long-term longitudinal randomized trials are needed to determine the impact of parathyroidectomy on cardiovascular diseases and mortality in PHPT.