[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
July 10, 1967

Hypercalcemia With Seizures —A Clinical Paradox

Author Affiliations

From the departments of pathology, medicine, and surgery, Memorial Hospital of Long Beach (Calif).

JAMA. 1967;201(2):132-134. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130020078024

ALTHOUGH elevation of the serum calcium level is associated with a variety of conditions, the most pronounced alterations occur in hyperparathyroidism. This disease process is characterized by anorexia, nausea, vomiting, thirst, and polyuria, with associated muscular weakness, confusion, and drowsiness which may progress to lethargy and coma. The symptoms are attributed directly to "calcium intoxication," and the syndrome constitutes medical and surgical emergency since it represents the only potentially lethal hypercalcemic state than can be cured.1 This report describes a case in which the correct clinical diagnosis was clouded by the occurrence of convulsions with hypercalcemic coma. Since seizures have never been included in the symptom complex of hyperparathyroidism, this paper reports a case in which hypercalcemia indirectly resulted in central nervous system hyperactivity and relates these symptoms to the underlying disease.

Report of a Case  A 56-year-old white man was admitted to Memorial Hospital of Long Beach Calif