What causes hypoparathyroidism?

The most common cause of hypoparathyroidism is injury to the parathyroid glands during head and neck surgery. For example, thyroid surgery can damage the parathyroid glands or the surrounding tissues.1

In adults, the disorder usually is a complication of neck surgery. In children, it is most often due to an inherited disorder. Congenital hypoparathyroidism, which can be present at birth or appear in early childhood, may be caused by a genetic variant or mutation. Some cases of congenital hypoparathyroidism may be part of a syndrome, meaning it is one of several symptoms, while in other instances the problem occurs by itself.1

Autoimmune polyglandular failure type 1 (APS-1) is a rare inherited autoimmune disease including hypoparathyroidism. APS-1 is usually diagnosed in early childhood, and hypoparathyroidism is usually the first of several hormonal deficiencies to appear.2,3


  1. Mannstadt, M., Bilezikian, J. P., Thakker, R. V., Hannan, F. M., Clarke, B. L., Rejnmark, L., et al. (2017). Hypoparathyroidism. Nature Reviews Disease Primers, 3, 17055. Retrieved May 24, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28857066
  2. Husebye, E. S., Perheentupa, J., Rautemaa, R., & Kämpe, O. (2009). Clinical manifestations and management of patients with autoimmune polyendocrine syndrome type I. Journal of Internal Medicine, 265(5), 514–529. Retrieved May 24, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19382991
  3. Ferre, E. M., Rose, S. R., Rosenzweig, S. D., Burbelo, P. D., Romito, K. R., Niemela, J. E.,et al. (2016).Redefined clinical features and diagnostic criteria in autoimmune polyendocrinopathy-candidiasis-ectodermal dystrophy. JCI Insight, 1(13), pii: e88782. Retrieved May 24, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27588307
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