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Ravikumar Ravindran Section of Endocrinology, YYF Hospital, Ystrad Fawr Way, Caerphilly, UK

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Justyna Witczak Section of Endocrinology, YYF Hospital, Ystrad Fawr Way, Caerphilly, UK

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Suhani Bahl Section of Endocrinology, YYF Hospital, Ystrad Fawr Way, Caerphilly, UK

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Lakdasa D K E Premawardhana Section of Endocrinology, YYF Hospital, Ystrad Fawr Way, Caerphilly, UK
Centre for Endocrine and Diabetes Sciences, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, UK

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Mohamed Adlan Section of Endocrinology, YYF Hospital, Ystrad Fawr Way, Caerphilly, UK

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Summary

A 53-year-old man who used growth hormone (GH), anabolic steroids and testosterone (T) for over 20 years presented with severe constipation and hypercalcaemia. He had benign prostatic hyperplasia and renal stones but no significant family history. Investigations showed – (1) corrected calcium (reference range) 3.66 mmol/L (2.2–2.6), phosphate 1.39 mmol/L (0.80–1.50), and PTH 2 pmol/L (1.6–7.2); (2) urea 21.9 mmol/L (2.5–7.8), creatinine 319 mmol/L (58–110), eGFR 18 mL/min (>90), and urine analysis (protein 4+, glucose 4+, red cells 2+); (3) creatine kinase 7952 U/L (40–320), positive anti Jo-1, and Ro-52 antibodies; (4) vitamin D 46 nmol/L (30–50), vitamin D3 29 pmol/L (55–139), vitamin A 4.65 mmol/L (1.10–2.60), and normal protein electrophoresis; (5) normal CT thorax, abdomen and pelvis and MRI of muscles showed ‘inflammation’, myositis and calcification; (6) biopsy of thigh muscles showed active myositis, chronic myopathic changes and mineral deposition and of the kidneys showed positive CD3 and CD45, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis and hypercalcaemic tubular changes; and (7) echocardiography showed left ventricular hypertrophy (likely medications and myositis contributing), aortic stenosis and an ejection fraction of 44%, and MRI confirmed these with possible right coronary artery disease. Hypercalcaemia was possibly multifactorial – (1) calcium release following myositis, rhabdomyolysis and acute kidney injury; (2) possible primary hyperparathyroidism (a low but detectable PTH); and (3) hypervitaminosis A. He was hydrated and given pamidronate, mycophenolate and prednisolone. Following initial biochemical and clinical improvement, he had multiple subsequent admissions for hypercalcaemia and renal deterioration. He continued taking GH and T despite counselling but died suddenly of a myocardial infarction.

Learning points:

  • The differential diagnosis of hypercalcaemia is sometimes a challenge.

  • Diagnosis may require multidisciplinary expertise and multiple and invasive investigations.

  • There may be several disparate causes for hypercalcaemia, although one usually predominates.

  • Maintaining ‘body image’ even with the use of harmful drugs may be an overpowering emotion despite counselling about their dangers.

Open access
E Mogas Department of Pediatric Endocrinology, Children’s University Hospital Vall Hebron, Barcelona, Spain
Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

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A Campos-Martorell Department of Pediatric Endocrinology, Children’s University Hospital Vall Hebron, Barcelona, Spain
Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

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M Clemente Department of Pediatric Endocrinology, Children’s University Hospital Vall Hebron, Barcelona, Spain
Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
Centre for Biomedical Research Network on Rare Diseases (CIBERER), Madrid, Spain

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L Castaño Centre for Biomedical Research Network on Rare Diseases (CIBERER), Madrid, Spain
Endocrinology and Diabetes Research Group, BioCruces Health Research Institute, UPV-EHU, CIBERDEM, Cruces University Hospital, Barakaldo, Spain

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A Moreno-Galdó Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
Centre for Biomedical Research Network on Rare Diseases (CIBERER), Madrid, Spain
Department of Pediatrics, Children’s University Hospital Vall Hebron, Barcelona, Spain

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D Yeste Department of Pediatric Endocrinology, Children’s University Hospital Vall Hebron, Barcelona, Spain
Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
Centre for Biomedical Research Network on Rare Diseases (CIBERER), Madrid, Spain

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A Carrascosa Department of Pediatric Endocrinology, Children’s University Hospital Vall Hebron, Barcelona, Spain
Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
Centre for Biomedical Research Network on Rare Diseases (CIBERER), Madrid, Spain

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Summary

Two pediatric patients with different causes of hyperparathyroidism are reported. First patient is a 13-year-old male with severe hypercalcemia due to left upper parathyroid gland adenoma. After successful surgery, calcium and phosphate levels normalized, but parathormone levels remained elevated. Further studies revealed a second adenoma in the right gland. The second patient is a 13-year-old female with uncommon hypercalcemia symptoms. Presence of pathogenic calcium-sensing receptor gene (CASR) mutation was found, resulting in diagnosis of symptomatic familial hypocalciuric hypercalcemia. Cinacalcet, a calcium-sensing agent that increases the sensitivity of the CASR, was used in both patients with successful results.

Learning points:

  • Hyperparathyroidism is a rare condition in pediatric patients. If not treated, it can cause serious morbidity.

  • Genetic tests searching for CASR or MEN1 gene mutations in pediatric patients with primary hyperparathyroidism should be performed.

  • Cinacalcet has been effective for treating different causes of hyperparathyroidism in our two pediatric patients.

  • Treatment has been well tolerated and no side effects have been detected.

Open access
Nikolaos Asonitis National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, First Department of Internal Medicine, Laikon Hospital, School of Medicine, Athens, Greece
Msc Metabolic Bone Diseases, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, School of Medicine, Athens, Greece

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Eva Kassi National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, First Department of Internal Medicine, Laikon Hospital, School of Medicine, Athens, Greece
Msc Metabolic Bone Diseases, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, School of Medicine, Athens, Greece

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Michalis Kokkinos National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, First Department of Internal Medicine, Laikon Hospital, School of Medicine, Athens, Greece

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Ilias Giovanopoulos National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, First Department of Internal Medicine, Laikon Hospital, School of Medicine, Athens, Greece

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Foteini Petychaki National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, First Department of Internal Medicine, Laikon Hospital, School of Medicine, Athens, Greece

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Helen Gogas National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, First Department of Internal Medicine, Laikon Hospital, School of Medicine, Athens, Greece

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Summary

Hypercalcemia of malignancy is the most common cause of hypercalcemia in hospitalized patients. It is associated with a poor prognosis, since it reflects an advanced cancer stage. Among all cancer in females, breast cancer is the most common malignancy, and it has the highest prevalence of hypercalcemia. Approximately 70% of patients with breast cancer have bone metastases and 10% of them will have hypercalcemia as a complication at some point in the disease. Herein, we report a 69-year-old female patient with metastatic breast cancer, who developed severe hypercalcemia in the course of her disease and was diagnosed with humoral hypercalcemia of malignancy (HHM). Intense hydration along with corticoisteroids and antiresorptive medication (calcitonin, bisphosphonates and denosumab) were administered to the patient. Despite the above treatment, serum calcium levels remain elevated and calcimimetic cinacalcet was added. Upon discontinuation of cinacalcet, calcium levels were raised and returned back to the normal levels following re-initiation of the calcimimetic. Her calcium level restored to normal, and she was discharged with the following medical treatment: denosumab monthly, and cinacalcet at a titrated dose of 90 mg per day. The patient is followed as an outpatient and 11 months later, her calcium level remained within the normal range.

Learning points:

  • Hypercalcemia of malignancy is the most common cause of hypercalcemia in hospitalized patients.

  • Breast cancer has the highest prevalence of hypercalcemia.

  • The cornerstone of therapy remains the intense hydration and intravenous bisphosphonates (preferably zoledronic acid).

  • In case of persistent hypercalcemia of malignancy, the administration of calcimimetic cinacalcet could be an additional effective therapeutic option.

Open access
Marina Tsoli Department of Pathophysiology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece

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Anna Angelousi Department of Pathophysiology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece

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Dimitra Rontogianni Department of Histopathology, Evagelismos General Hospital, Athens, Greece

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Constantine Stratakis Section on Endocrinology and Genetics, Program on Developmental Endocrinology and Genetics, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA

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Gregory Kaltsas Department of Pathophysiology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece

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Summary

Parathyroid carcinoma is an extremely rare endocrine malignancy that accounts for less than 1% of cases of primary hyperparathyroidism. We report a 44-year-old woman who presented with fatigue and diffuse bone pain. Laboratory findings revealed highly elevated serum calcium and parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels and a 4.5 × 3 × 2.5 cm cystic lesion in the lower pole of the right thyroid lobe that was shown histologically to be a parathyroid carcinoma. Ten years later, the patient developed brain and pulmonary metastases and recurrence of PTH-related hypercalcemia. Treatment of hypercalcemia along with localized radiotherapy and various chemotherapy regimens failed to induce a biochemical or radiological response. In conclusion, parathyroid carcinoma is a rare neoplasia that may develop metastases even after prolonged follow-up, for which there is no evidence-based treatment besides surgery. Different chemotherapeutic schemes did not prove to be of any benefit in our case highlighting the need for registering such patients to better understand tumor biology and develop specific treatment.

Learning points:

  • Metastases can develop many years after parathyroid cancer diagnosis.

  • Surgery is the only curative treatment for parathyroid carcinoma.

  • Chemotherapy and radiotherapy prove to be ineffective in parathyroid cancer treatment.

  • Patient registering is required in order to delineate underlining pathology and offer specific treatment.

Open access
Maryam Heidarpour Isfahan University of Medical Sciences Isfahan Endocrine and Metabolism Research Center Ringgold Standard Institution, Isfahan, Iran

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Mehdi Karami Isfahan University of Medical Sciences Isfahan Endocrine and Metabolism Research Center Ringgold Standard Institution, Isfahan, Iran

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Pegah Hedayat Isfahan University of Medical Sciences Isfahan Endocrine and Metabolism Research Center Ringgold Standard Institution, Isfahan, Iran

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Ashraf Aminorroaya Isfahan University of Medical Sciences Isfahan Endocrine and Metabolism Research Center Ringgold Standard Institution, Isfahan, Iran

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Summary

Primary hyperparathyroidism revealed by thoracic spine brown tumor and peptic ulcer bleeding is rare. We presented a case of 33-year-old male patient who was admitted with paraplegia. Thoracic spine magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed extradural lesion at T4 level. He underwent surgical decompression in T4. According to histopathologic finding and elevated serum parathormone (PTH) and hypercalcemia (total serum calcium 12.1 mg/dL), the diagnosis of brown tumor was down. Ultrasonography of his neck showed a well-defined lesion of 26 × 14 × 6 mm. The day after surgery, he experienced 2 episodes of melena. Bedside upper gastrointestinal endoscopy showed gastric peptic ulcer with visible vessel. Treatment with intragastric local instillation of epinephrine and argon plasma coagulation was done to stop bleeding. After stabilization of the patient, parathyroidectomy was performed. Histologic study showed the parathyroid adenoma without any manifestation of malignancy. At discharge, serum calcium was normal (8.6 mg/dL). On 40th day of discharge, standing and walking status was normal.

Learning points:

  • Thoracic spine involvement is a very rare presentation of primary hyperparathyroidism.

  • The issue of whether primary hyperparathyroidism increases the risk of peptic ulcer disease remains controversial. However, gastrointestinal involvement has been reported in association with classic severe primary hyperparathyroidism.

  • The treatment of brown tumor varies from case to case.

Open access
Reiner Jumpertz von Schwartzenberg Department of Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases, Charité – Universitätsmedizin, Charitéplatz 1, Berlin, 10117, Germany

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Ulf Elbelt Department of Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases, Charité – Universitätsmedizin, Charitéplatz 1, Berlin, 10117, Germany

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Manfred Ventz Department of Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases, Charité – Universitätsmedizin, Charitéplatz 1, Berlin, 10117, Germany

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Knut Mai Department of Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases, Charité – Universitätsmedizin, Charitéplatz 1, Berlin, 10117, Germany

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Tina Kienitz Department of Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases, Charité – Universitätsmedizin, Charitéplatz 1, Berlin, 10117, Germany

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Lukas Maurer Department of Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases, Charité – Universitätsmedizin, Charitéplatz 1, Berlin, 10117, Germany

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Thomas Rose Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, Medical Department, Charité – Universitätsmedizin, Charitéplatz 1, Berlin, 10117, Germany

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Jens C Rückert Department of General Visceral Vascular and Thoracic Surgery, Charité – Universitätsmedizin, Charitéplatz 1, Berlin, 10117, Germany

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Christian J Strasburger Department of Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases, Charité – Universitätsmedizin, Charitéplatz 1, Berlin, 10117, Germany

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Joachim Spranger Department of Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases, Charité – Universitätsmedizin, Charitéplatz 1, Berlin, 10117, Germany

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Parathyroid carcinoma is a rare disease leading to severe hypercalcemia due to hyperparathyroidism. Surgery is the primary treatment option. A more progressive form of the disease is characterized by parathyrotoxicosis, and subsequent hypercalcemia is the most common cause of death. We report a case presenting with severe hypercalcemia due to parathyrotoxicosis from parathyroid carcinoma treated for the first time using the monoclonal antibody denosumab as a rescue therapy and present long-term follow-up data. The 71-year-old patient presented with severe hypercalcemia due to metastatic parathyroid carcinoma. Despite undergoing treatment with bisphosphonates, cinacalcet hydrochloride, and forced diuresis, the patient`s condition deteriorated rapidly due to resistant hypercalcemia. Surgery performed because of spinal metastasis and forced diuresis lowered calcium levels, albeit they remained in the hypercalcemic range and significantly increased when forced diuresis was stopped. Considering a palliative situation to overcome hypercalcemia, we decided to administer denosumab, a monoclonal antibody that binds to the receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappa B ligand. After a single subcutaneous administration of 60 mg denosumab, calcium levels normalized within one day. Subsequent denosumab injections led to permanent control of serum calcium for more than 2 years despite rising parathyroid hormone levels and repeated surgeries. Together with recent cases in the literature supporting our observation, we believe that denosumab is relevant for future trials and represents an effective tool to control hypercalcemia in patients with advanced stages of parathyroid cancer.

Learning points

  • Severe hypercalcemia is the most common cause of death in patients with parathyroid carcinoma.

  • The monoclonal antibody denosumab rapidly lowered severely elevated serum calcium levels due to parathyrotoxicosis.

  • Denosumab was effective in the long-term treatment of hypercalcemia despite progression of parathyroid carcinoma.

Open access
Marisa M Fisher Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, Department of Pediatrics, Riley Hospital for Children, Indiana University School of Medicine, 705 Riley Hospital Drive, Room 5960, Indianapolis, Indiana, 46220, USA

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Susanne M Cabrera Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, Department of Pediatrics, Medical College of Wisconsin, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, 9000 W. Wisconsin Avenue, PO Box 1997, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 53201, USA

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Erik A Imel Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, Department of Pediatrics, Riley Hospital for Children, Indiana University School of Medicine, 705 Riley Hospital Drive, Room 5960, Indianapolis, Indiana, 46220, USA
Division of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, 541 North Clinical Drive, Indianapolis, Indiana, 46202, USA

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Summary

Neonatal severe hyperparathyroidism (NSHPT) is a rare disorder caused by inactivating calcium-sensing receptor (CASR) mutations that result in life-threatening hypercalcemia and metabolic bone disease. Until recently, therapy has been surgical parathyroidectomy. Three previous case reports have shown successful medical management of NSHPT with cinacalcet. Here we present the detailed description of two unrelated patients with NSHPT due to heterozygous R185Q CASR mutations. Patient 1 was diagnosed at 11 months of age and had developmental delays, dysphagia, bell-shaped chest, and periosteal bone reactions. Patient 2 was diagnosed at 1 month of age and had failure to thrive, osteopenia, and multiple rib fractures. Cinacalcet was initiated at 13 months of age in patient 1, and at 4 months of age in patient 2. We have successfully normalized their parathyroid hormone and alkaline phosphatase levels. Despite the continuance of mild hypercalcemia (11–12 mg/dl), both patients showed no hypercalcemic symptoms. Importantly, patient 1 had improved neurodevelopment and patient 2 never experienced any developmental delays after starting cinacalcet. Neither experienced fractures after starting cinacalcet. Both have been successfully managed long-term without any significant adverse events. These cases expand the current literature of cinacalcet use in NSHPT to five successful reported cases. We propose that cinacalcet may be considered as an option for treating the severe hypercalcemia and metabolic bone disease found in infants and children with inactivating CASR disorders.

Learning points

  • NSHPT due to mutations in the CASR gene occurs with hypercalcemia and metabolic bone disease, but not always with severe critical illness in infancy.

  • NSHPT should be considered in the differential diagnosis for a newborn with a bell-shaped chest, osteopenia, and periosteal reactions.

  • Neurodevelopmental consequences may occur in children with hypercalcemia and may improve during treatment.

  • Calcimimetics can be used to successfully treat the pathophysiology of NSHPT directly to control serum calcium levels.

Open access
Maria P Yavropoulou Division of Clinical and Molecular Endocrinology, 1st Department of Internal Medicine, AHEPA University Hospital, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 1 Stilponos, Kyriakidi Street, Thessaloniki, 54636, Greece

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Nikolina Gerothanasi Division of Clinical and Molecular Endocrinology, 1st Department of Internal Medicine, AHEPA University Hospital, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 1 Stilponos, Kyriakidi Street, Thessaloniki, 54636, Greece

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Athanasios Frydas Division of Clinical and Molecular Endocrinology, 1st Department of Internal Medicine, AHEPA University Hospital, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 1 Stilponos, Kyriakidi Street, Thessaloniki, 54636, Greece

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Evangelia Triantafyllou Division of Clinical and Molecular Endocrinology, 1st Department of Internal Medicine, AHEPA University Hospital, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 1 Stilponos, Kyriakidi Street, Thessaloniki, 54636, Greece

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Chris Poulios Pathology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece

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Prodromos Hytiroglou Pathology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece

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Panagiotis Apostolou Research Genetic Cancer Centre Ltd (RGCC Ltd), Florina, Greece

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Ioannis Papasotiriou Research Genetic Cancer Centre Ltd (RGCC Ltd), Florina, Greece

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Symeon Tournis Laboratory of Research of Musculoskeletal System ‘Th. Garofalidis’, Medical School, KAT Hospital, University of Athens, Athens, Greece

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Isaak Kesisoglou 3rd Department of Surgery, AHEPA University Hospital, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece

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John G Yovos Division of Clinical and Molecular Endocrinology, 1st Department of Internal Medicine, AHEPA University Hospital, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 1 Stilponos, Kyriakidi Street, Thessaloniki, 54636, Greece

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Summary

Tumor-induced osteomalacia (TIO) is a rare paraneoplastic syndrome caused primarily by benign mesenchymal tumors. These tumors typically follow a benign clinical course and local recurrence occurs in <5% of cases. We investigated a 49-year-old man with a recurrent mesenchymal phosphaturic tumor showing no signs of malignancy. The patient suffered from chronic muscle weakness, myalgia and cramps. His medical record included the diagnosis of oncogenic osteomalacia, for which he was submitted to tumor resection in the left leg three times before. Laboratory examination showed hypophosphatemia, hyperphosphaturia and an elevated serum FGF23 level. A radical surgical approach (amputation) was advised, however, complete biochemical and clinical remission was not reached. Molecular analysis of the tumor cells demonstrated overexpression of growth factor receptors implicated in tumor angiogenesis and metastatic potential (platelet derived growth factor type A (PDGFRA), PDGFRB and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor) together with increased expression of FGF23, x-linked-phosphate-regulating endopeptidase and KLOTHO. TIO is usually associated with benign phosphauturic tumors and, when identified, resection of the tumor leads to complete remission in the majority of cases. The underlying pathophysiology of recurrences in these tumors is not known. This is the first report showing increased expression of growth factor receptors in a locally aggressive but histopathologically benign phosphaturic mesenchymal tumor.

Learning points

  • TIO is usually associated with benign soft tissue or bone neoplasms of mesenchymal origin.

  • These tumors typically follow a benign clinical course and even in the rare malignant cases local recurrence occurs in <5%.

  • Successful identification and removal of the tumor leads to full recovery in the majority of cases.

Open access
K Nadarasa Department of Endocrinology, St Bartholomew's Hospital, London, UK

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M Bailey Department of Endocrinology, St Bartholomew's Hospital, London, UK

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H Chahal Imperial Centre for Endocrinology, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK

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O Raja Department of Endocrinology, St Bartholomew's Hospital, London, UK

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R Bhat Department of Neonatology, King's College Hospital, London, UK

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C Gayle Department of Diabetes, King's College Hospital, London, UK

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A B Grossman Department of Endocrinology, St Bartholomew's Hospital, London, UK

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M R Druce Department of Endocrinology, St Bartholomew's Hospital, London, UK

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Summary

We present the case of a patient with metastatic parathyroid carcinoma whose hypercalcaemia was medically managed through two pregnancies. The diagnosis was made when the patient presented with chronic knee pain and radiological findings consistent with a brown tumour, at the age of 30. Her corrected calcium and parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels were significantly elevated. Following localisation studies, a right parathyroidectomy was performed with histology revealing parathyroid carcinoma, adherent to thyroid tissue. Aged 33, following biochemical recurrence of disease, the patient underwent a second operation. A subsequent CT and FDG–PET revealed bibasal pulmonary metastases. Aged 35, the patient was referred to our unit for treatment of persistent hypercalcaemia. The focus of treatment at this time was debulking metastatic disease using radiofrequency ablation. Despite advice to the contrary, the patient conceived twice while taking cinacalcet. Even though there are limited available data regarding the use of cinacalcet in pregnancy, both pregnancies continued to term with the delivery of healthy infants, using intensive medical management for persistent hypercalcaemia.

Learning points

  • Parathyroid carcinoma is a rare cause of primary hyperparathyroidism.

  • Hypercalcaemia during pregnancy can result in significant complications for both the mother and the foetus.

  • The use of high-dose cinacalcet in pregnancy has been shown, in this case, to aid in the management of resistant hypercalcaemia without teratogenicity.

Open access
Kirun Gunganah Department of Endocrinology, St Barts Health NHS Trust, London, UK

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Ashley Grossman Department of Endocrinology, OCDEM, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

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Maralyn Druce Department of Endocrinology, St Barts Health NHS Trust, London, UK

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Summary

A 22-year-old female student presented with a history of recurrent pancreatitis. The commonest causes of pancreatitis, including drugs, gallstones, corticosteroids, excess alcohol and hypertriglyceridaemia, were excluded. She was found to have an elevated serum calcium level that was considered to be the cause of her pancreatitis, with a detectable serum parathyroid hormone (PTH). An initial diagnosis of primary hyperparathyroidism was made. However, two neck explorations failed to reveal a parathyroid adenoma. She was referred to our unit three years later as her episodes of pancreatitis were becoming more frequent and her calcium level remained persistently elevated. Her investigations were as follows: elevated adjusted calcium level of 2.79 mmol/l (2.2–2.58), PTH level of 4.2 pmol/l (0.6–6.0), low 24 h urine calcium of 0.3 mmol/l and a urine calcium:creatinine ratio of <0.003. A clinical diagnosis of familial hypocalciuric hypercalcaemia (FHH) was made and confirmed on genetic testing that showed a c.1703 G>A mutation in the calcium-sensing receptor gene. Although the hypercalcaemia of FHH is usually without sequelae due to the generalised changes in calcium sensing, in the presence of this complication she was started on cinacalcet 30 mg daily. She had one further episode of pancreatitis with calcium levels ranging between 2.53 and 2.66 mmol/l. Her cinacalcet was gradually increased to 30 mg three times daily, maintaining her calcium levels in the range of 2.15–2.20 mmol/l. She has not had a further episode of pancreatitis for more than 2 years.

FHH is usually a benign condition with minimal complications from hypercalcaemia. Pancreatitis has been reported rarely, and no clear management strategy has been defined in these cases. Cinacalcet was successfully used in treating recurrent pancreatitis in a patient with FHH by maintaining calcium levels in the lower part of the reference range. Whether or not this is an effective long-term treatment remains yet to be seen.

Learning points

  • FHH is an important differential diagnosis for hypercalcaemia.

  • FHH can rarely cause pancreatitis.

  • No clear strategy is available to help in the management of patients with pancreatitis due to FHH.

  • Cinacalcet was effective in lowering serum calcium levels and reducing the frequency of pancreatitis in our patient with FHH.

Open access