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Document Details :
Title: A 50-year-old man with severe hypercalcemia: a case report
Author(s): VAN DEN HAUWE K, OEYEN SG, SCHRIJVERS BF, DECRUYENAERE JM, BUYLAERT WA
Journal: Acta Clinica Belgica
Volume: 64 Issue: 5 Date: 2009
Objective: We present this case to emphasize the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of an acute severe hypercalcemic syndrome due to primary hyperparathyroidism as a consequence of an undiagnosed adenoma of the parathyroid gland. Case report: A 50-year-old man presented at another hospital with non-specific symptoms such as anorexia, nausea, vomiting, polyuria, dehydration, abdominal pain, weight loss, fatigue, muscular weakness, irritability and lethargy. Serum levels of calcium and parathyroid hormone (PTH) were markedly increased to 23.6 mg/dL1* (reference values 8.6-10.2 mg/dL) and >1900 ng/L (reference values 14-72 ng/L) respectively. After initial treatment, the patient was transferred to the intensive care unit (ICU) of a tertiary care university hospital for further stabilization and treatment because the typical signs of hypercalcemia were not resolving. A parathyroid adenoma was diagnosed and a few days later a parathyroidectomy was performed. The postoperative course was uneventful and the patient could be discharged from the hospital in a good general condition. Conclusion: Acute primary hyperparathyroidism, also known as parathyroid storm or parathyroid crisis, is a rare but potentially fatal endocrine emergency if unrecognized and untreated. Appropriate diagnosis and immediate adequate management of hypercalcemia are important in reducing mortality. Nevertheless, mortality remains high, even with surgical treatment which is the cornerstone of the definitive therapy.