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Sept 1962

Focal Hypocalcemic Seizures 33 Years After Thyroidectomy

Author Affiliations


Former Resident in Neurology, University Hospital.

Arch Intern Med. 1962;110(3):382-385. doi:10.1001/archinte.1962.03620210106018

Generalized seizures frequently occur in post-thyroidectomy hypoparathyroidism,1 but it is unusual to see focal seizures as a result of this abnormality.2,3 Convulsions after thyroidectomy usually occur within a week of surgery, becoming less frequent and often spontaneously disappearing in the next few months.4 Although chronic, latent hypocalcemia is probably more common than suspected after thyroid surgery,5 it is rare for seizures to appear many years later.3,5

This case is of interest because focal convulsions related to hypocalcemia began 33 years after thyroidectomy.

Report of Case  A 59-year-old white chiropractor was admitted to University Hospital on June 14, 1960, because of "jerking of his right arm and leg." He had been in good health with no history of seizures, unconsciousness, or mental abnormality until 33 years previously. At that time a thyroidectomy was performed to relieve compression symptoms. For a few weeks after operation he experienced

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