How is hypercalcemia of malignancy differentiated from hyperparathyroidism?

Updated: Oct 02, 2018
  • Author: Lawrence Kim, MD, FACS, FACE; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Answer

Answer

This disorder is usually caused by tumor release of a hormone called parathyroid hormone -related peptide. Less commonly, hypercalcemia of malignancy is caused by local osteolytic lesions and, rarely, by overproduction of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D. This disorder is the most common cause of hypercalcemia in hospitalized patients. The hypercalcemia of malignancy results in a low or undetectable intact parathyroid hormone level. Usually, it is easily distinguished from hyperparathyroidism. Only a few cases of ectopic production of true parathyroid hormone are reported in the literature.


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