Nigerian Journal of Ophthalmology

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Ocular Features of Hypocalcaemia in a 35-year Old Woman – A case report

FG Adepoju, FO Olatunji, SA Adebisi, GA Rahman


The case of a 35-year-old teacher who developed persistent hypocalcaemia following subtotal thyroidectomy for simple multinodular goitre is presented. She developed carpopedal spasm with positive Trousseau's and Chvostek's signs 10 days after surgery and was found with a calcium level of 1.94mmol/l. Her serum calcium has been persistently below normal levels since then. She developed hypermetropia and early onset of presbyopia 6 weeks after surgery; by this time her lens was clear on examination. She had enjoyed good vision prior to the thyroidectomy surgery. A year later, she had developed a fully mature bilateral presenile cataract. The case illustrates an uncommon cause of rapidly progressive bilateral mature cataract in Nigeria and the difficulty encountered in managing a patient with persistent hypocalcaemia in our environment.
Key Words: permanent hypocalcaemia, post thyroidectomy, refractive error, mature bilateral presenile cataract
Nigerian Journal of Ophthalmology Vol.12 (1) 2004: 26-28
AJOL African Journals Online