Hypercalcaemia (or Hypercalcemia) is an elevated calcium level in the blood. It can be an asymptomatic laboratory finding, but because an elevated calcium level is often a clue to other serious disease, a diagnosis should be undertaken if it persists. more...
Signs and symptoms
Hypercalcemia per se can result in fatigue, depression, confusion, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, constipation, or increased urination; if it is chronic it can result in urinary calculi (renal stones or bladder stones). Abnormal heart rhythms can result, and an EKG finding of a short QT interval suggests hypercalcemia.
Symptoms are more common at high calcium levels (12.0 mg/dL or 3 mmol/l). Severe hypercalcemia (above 15-16 mg/dL or 3.75-4 mmol/l) is considered a medical emergency: at these levels, coma and cardiac arrest can result.
- abnormal parathyroid gland function
- primary hyperparathyroidism
- solitary parathyroid adenoma
- primary parathyroid hyperplasia
- parathyroid carcinoma (C750)
- multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN)
- familial isolated hyperparathyroidism (OMIM 146200)
- lithium use
- familial hypocalciuric hypercalcemia/familial benign hypercalcaemia (OMIM 145980, OMIM 145981, OMIM 600740)
- solid tumor with metastasis (e.g. breast cancer)
- solid tumor with humoral mediation of hypercalcemia (e.g. lung or kidney cancer)
- hematologic malignancy (multiple myeloma, lymphoma, leukemia)
- vitamin-D metabolic disorders
- hypervitaminosis D (vitamin D intoxication)
- elevated 1,25(OH)2D levels (e.g. sarcoidosis and other granulomatous diseases)
- idiopathic hypercalcemia of infancy (OMIM 143880)
- rebound hypercalcemia after rhabdomyolysis
- disorders related to high bone-turnover rates
- prolonged immobilization
- thiazide use
- vitamin A intoxication
- renal failure
- severe secondary hyperparathyroidism
- aluminum intoxication
- milk-alkali syndrome
Definitive treatment is directed at the underlying cause. Emergency treatment consists of intravenous hydration, increased salt intake, use of diuretics, and in extreme cases such drugs as bisphosphonates or calcitonin.
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