Which electrolyte abnormalities are commonly identified during the workup for non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)?

Updated: Jun 05, 2020
  • Author: Winston W Tan, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Nagla Abdel Karim, MD, PhD  more...
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Answer

The most common metabolic abnormality associated with NSCLC is hypercalcemia, which usually occurs with squamous cell carcinoma and results from secretion of parathyroid hormone–related peptide (PTH-rP) by the tumor. This can be distinguished from hyperparathyroidism by confirmation of normal serum parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels.

Other electrolyte abnormalities can include hyponatremia, in which case the syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH) should be considered. The combination of hyponatremia, serum osmolality < 280 mOsm/kg, and high urine osmolality is the hallmark of SIADH.


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