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Aneez Joseph Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, India

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Kripa Elizabeth Cherian Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, India

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Nitin Kapoor Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, India

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Thomas V Paul Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, India

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Summary

Tenofovir-induced osteomalacia secondary to proximal renal tubular dysfunction is not an uncommon complication known to occur. A 46-year-old woman was referred for the evaluation of osteoporosis which was diagnosed elsewhere. She had polyarthralgia, bony pains and proximal muscle weakness of 1 year duration. She was diagnosed to have HIV infection and was on antiretroviral therapy that consisted of tenofovir, lamivudine and efavirenz for the past 12 years. She had attained menopause 5 years back. On examination, she had bone tenderness, proximal myopathy and painful restriction of movement of her lower limbs. Investigations showed features of renal tubular acidosis, hypophosphatemia and raised alkaline phosphatase that were suggestive of osteomalacia. X-ray of the pelvis showed diffuse osteopenia and an MRI of the pelvis done showed multiple insufficiency fractures involving the head of femur on both sides. Following this, her tenofovir-based regimen was changed to abacavir, efavirenz and lamivudine with addition of neutral phosphate supplements and calcitriol. On follow-up after 6 months, she had significant improvement in her symptoms as well as in the bone mineral density at the lumbar spine (33.2%), femoral neck (27.6%), trabecular bone score (13.2%) and reduction in the buckling ratio at the narrow neck (6.3%), inter-trochanteric region (34%) and femoral shaft (28.8%). Tenofovir-induced osteomalacia is encountered in individuals on prolonged treatment with tenofovir. Treatment consists of changing to a non-tenofovir-based regimen, as well as supplementation of phosphate and calcitriol. Treatment results in remarkable improvement in symptoms and most densitometric indices.

Learning points

  • Tenofovir is a nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) and is a major drug in the treatment of retroviral and hepatitis B infections.

  • Tenofovir-related hypophosphatemic osteomalacia is related to proximal tubulopathy and is not an uncommon occurrence.

  • Treatment mandates changing to a non-tenofovir-based regimen with supplementation of neutral phosphate and calcitriol.

  • Treatment results in a significant improvement in bone mineral density, trabecular bone score and hip geometric parameters.

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Mohammed Anwar Hussain Department of Endocrinology, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, India

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Aneez Joseph Department of Endocrinology, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, India

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Vinoo Mathew Cherian Department of Orthopaedics, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, India

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Alok Srivastava Department of Haematology, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, India

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Kripa Elizabeth Cherian Department of Endocrinology, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, India

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Nitin Kapoor Department of Endocrinology, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, India

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Thomas Vizhalil Paul Department of Endocrinology, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, India

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Summary

Although bisphosphonates (BPs) are mainly used for the treatment of osteoporosis and are generally safe, long-term use and more dosage as utilised in malignant conditions may be associated with the rare adverse event of an atypical femoral fracture (AFF). Occasionally, the risk of developing an AFF persists long after BPs are withdrawn. A 39-year-old woman who underwent chemotherapy and an autologous stem cell transplantation for multiple myeloma presented to us with history of pain in the left thigh. She had received multiple doses of oral and parenteral BPs for about 10 years in view of the underlying myeloma with osteoporosis. Her investigations showed a suppressed CTX of 192 pg/mL, and radiograph of pelvis displayed thickened cortices with beaking of the left femoral shaft, which was suggestive of an AFF. Following discontinuation of BPs, she underwent prophylactic intra-medullary nailing with which her symptoms improved. Five years later, she presented with similar complaints on the right side. Investigations showed that her bone turnover continued to be suppressed with Cross linked C- Telopeptide of type 1 collagen (CTX) of 165 pg/mL and an X-ray done showed AFF on the right side despite being off BPs. A second intra-medullary nailing was done and on follow-up, she has been symptom-free and independent in her daily activities. Discontinuation of BPs may not prevent the incident second AFF and, therefore, thus warranting long-term follow-up.

Learning points

  • Regular screening and follow-up of patients who receive long-term bisphosphonate (BP) therapy should be done.

  • Discontinuation of BPs does not preclude the possibility of repeated occurrence of a second AFF.

  • Long-term BP therapy warrants regular monitoring and follow-up should an AFF occur

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Sophie Bondje Lister Hospital, Stevenage, UK

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Camilla Barnes Lister Hospital, Stevenage, UK

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Felicity Kaplan Lister Hospital, Stevenage, UK

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Summary

Milk–alkali syndrome (MAS) is a triad of hypercalcaemia, metabolic alkalosis and renal insufficiency. In this study, we present a case of milk–alkali syndrome secondary to concurrent use of over-the-counter (OTC) calcium carbonate-containing antacid tablets (Rennie®) for dyspepsia and calcium carbonate with vitamin D3 (Adcal D3) for osteoporosis. A 72-year-old woman presented with a 2-day history of nausea, vomiting, epigastric pain, constipation, lethargy and mild delirium. Past medical history included osteoporosis treated with daily Adcal D3. Initial blood tests showed elevated serum-adjusted calcium of 3.77 mmol/L (normal range, 2.2–2.6) and creatinine of 292 µmol/L (45–84) from a baseline of 84. This was corrected with i.v. pamidronate and i.v. fluids. She developed asymptomatic hypocalcaemia and rebound hyperparathyroidism. Myeloma screen, vasculitis screen and serum angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) were normal, while the CT of the chest, abdomen and pelvis showed renal stones but no malignancy. A bone marrow biopsy showed no evidence of malignancy. Once the delirium resolved, we established that prior to admission, she had been excessively self-medicating with over-the-counter antacids (Rennie®) as required for epigastric pain. The increasing use of calcium preparations for the management of osteoporosis in addition to easily available OTC dyspepsia preparations has made MAS the third most common cause of hypercalcaemia hospitalisations. Educating patients and healthcare professionals on the risks associated with these seemingly safe medications is required. Appropriate warning labels on both calcium preparations used in the management of osteoporosis and OTC calcium-containing preparations would prevent further similar cases and unnecessary morbidity and hospital admission.

Learning points

What is known?

  • An association between high-dose calcium supplementation and hypercalcaemia crisis has been seen in case studies.

  • After as little as 1 week of excessive calcium carbonate ingestion, patients can present with symptomatic hypercalcemia, acute renal failure and metabolic alkalosis (1).

  • Women aged 50 and younger need 1 g of calcium per day, while aged 51 and older need 1.2 g (1).

  • Although the amount of calcium required for MAS is generally thought to be more than 4 g per day, there have been reports at intakes as low as 1.0–1.5 g per day in pre-existing risk factors including renal impairment (2).

What this study adds?

  • The danger of excessive ingestion of antacid is not adequately highlighted to prescribers and patients.

  • Appropriate warning labels on OTC calcium-containing preparations could prevent unnecessary morbidity and hospital admission.

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Eseoghene Ifie Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK

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Samson O Oyibo Department of Endocrinology, Peterborough City Hospital, Peterborough, UK

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Hareesh Joshi Department of Endocrinology, Peterborough City Hospital, Peterborough, UK

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Olugbenro O Akintade Department of Elderly Care Medicine, Peterborough City Hospital, Peterborough, UK

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Summary

Iron (ferric carboxymaltose) infusion therapy is used to treat severe iron deficiency which is not responding to the first-line oral iron therapy. However, it can also cause severe renal wasting of phosphate resulting in severe hypophosphataemia in some patients. Despite the growing number of case reports, this side effect is not well known to healthcare professionals. The product labelling information sheet does mention that hypophosphataemia can be a side effect, but also says that this side effect is usually transient and asymptomatic. We report a challenging case of a patient who developed severe, symptomatic and prolonged hypophosphataemia after an intravenous iron infusion for severe iron deficiency.

Learning points:

  • Clinicians prescribing ferric carboxymaltose (Ferinject®) should be aware of the common side effect of hypophosphataemia, which could be mild, moderate or severe.

  • Patients receiving iron infusion should be educated concerning this potential side effect.

  • Pre-existing vitamin D deficiency, low calcium levels, low phosphate levels or raised parathyroid hormone levels may be risk factors, and these should be evaluated and corrected before administering intravenous iron.

  • Patients may require phosphate and vitamin D replacement along with monitoring for a long period after iron infusion-induced hypophosphataemia.

  • Every incident should be reported to the designated body so that the true prevalence and management thereof can be ascertained.

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