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Arquivos Brasileiros de Endocrinologia & Metabologia

On-line version ISSN 1677-9487


MARTIN, Luciana N. C.  and  KAYATH, Marcia J.. Abordagem clínico-laboratorial no diagnóstico diferencial de hipercalcemia. Arq Bras Endocrinol Metab [online]. 1999, vol.43, n.6, pp.472-479. ISSN 1677-9487.

Hypercalcemia is a common underdiagnosed metabolic abnormality, since it is frequently asymptomatic. Approximately 90% of the cases are due to primary hyperparathyroidism (HPT) or malignancies, and it is more prevalent in outpatients or inpatients, respectively. HPT and malignant humoral hypercalcemia share some similarities such as: increase of nephrogenic cAMP, hypophosphatemia and hypercalciuria. However, patients with hypercalcemia associated with malignancy are usually clinically very ill with mestatasis in multiple organs. The intact PTH (iPTH) serum measurement is very important for definitive diagnosis, since iPTH is elevated or normal in primary hyperparathyroidism and supressed in malignancies. Hypercalcemia in malignancies may be due to humoral factors secreted by tumors that act on target organs and change normal calcium homeostasis. Also, local factors secreted by tumors in bone, either metastatic or hematological, may stimulate osteoclastic bone resorption. The parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) is responsible for the majority cases of hypercalcemia associated to solid tumors. Other factors like interleukin-6, tumoral growth factor, tumoral necrosis factor and interleukin-1 can modulate the end-organ effects of PTHrP and in some tumors they can directly stimulate the osteoclasts such as in the case of multiple myeloma. Hypercalcemia can less frequently be associated with some endocrine diseases like thyrotoxicosis, pheochromocytoma, Addison's disease and multiple endocrine neoplasia types I and IIA. Some drugs may cause this metabolic abnormality, mainly vitamin D, thiazide diuretics, and lithium. Sarcoidosis is a granulomatous-forming disease that may present with hypercalcemia in 10% of the patients and with hypercalciuria in 50% of the cases. The differential diagnosis of hypercalcemias is essencial for the appropriate treatment of this metabolic abnormality.

Keywords : Hipercalcemia; Hiperparathyreoidism; Paraneoplasic syndrome; PTHrP.

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