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Emir Muzurović, Sanja Medenica, Milovan Kalezić, and Siniša Pavlović

Summary

We present a 54-year-old patient admitted to the emergency department due to loss of consciousness. The initial ECG registered monomorphic ventricular extrasystoles and prolonged QT interval (QT corrected (QTc) >500 ms). Sustained ventricular tachycardia (VT) was registered on 24-h Holter ECG monitoring, which clinically was presented as a crisis of consciousness. Coronary angiography and other visualization methods were normal. Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) implantation was planned for the purpose of secondary prevention of sudden cardiac death (SCD). Laboratory and hormonal analyzes revealed primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT), chronic kidney disease, and hypokalemia. Neck ultrasound showed a 25 mm, sharply outlined homogenous tumor mass which was separated from thyroid gland (TG) and exerted a mild impression on lower parts of the left lobe. Dual wash technetium-99m sestamibi parathyroid scintigraphy with single-photon emission CT (SPECT)/CT also showed the uptake of tracer behind the lower half of the left lobe of the TG. Surgical treatment, lower left parathyroidectomy, was performed, and pathohistological analysis verified parathyroid adenoma. The patient was rhythmically and hemodynamically stable for 7 days after surgery, without additional complaints, and was discharged from the hospital. Timely diagnosis of PHPT, correct assessment and surgical treatment, did not lead our patient to unnecessary ICD implantation. Our case suggests an additional intertwining of electrolyte disorders and ventricular arrhythmias in PHPT and more importantly emphasizes the need for caution when indicating ICD, even in patients with the most serious life-threatening arrhythmias.

Learning points

  • Electrolyte abnormalities in PHPT can have highly malignant consequences, and the occurrence of hypokalemia in the presence of hypercalcemia is underestimated in PHPT, and the consequences can be life-threatening.

  • Although hypercalcemia causes shortened QT interval, concomitant severe hypokalemia may overcome hypercalcemia and prolong QT interval, even in the absence of structural heart disease or LQTS.

  • Timely diagnosis of PHPT, correct assessment and surgical treatment, do not lead to unnecessary ICD implantation.