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October 1973

Hypocalcemia Associated With Metastatic Bone Disease: A Retrospective Study

Author Affiliations

Pittsburgh; Memphis

From the Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, (Dr. Raskin), and the Department of Medicine, University of Tennessee School of Medicine, Memphis (Drs. Medsger and McClain). Dr. Raskin is now at the University of Texas Southwestern School of Medicine, Dallas, and Drs. McClain and Medsger are at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Arch Intern Med. 1973;132(4):539-543. doi:10.1001/archinte.1973.03650100057011

Twenty-three patients had osteoblastic bone metastases from adenocarcinoma of the prostate and had serum calcium values of less than 8.6 mg/100 ml. To determine the frequency of this association, we surveyed 143 patients who had osseous metastases and were from five general hospitals. Hypocalcemia was encountered in 23 (16%), while only 13 (9%) were hypercalcemic. Carcinoma of the prostate with osteoblastic metastases (seven patients) was the single most frequent lesion. None of the usual causes of hypocalcemia was found in these patients although age, azotemia, hypoalbuminemia, and the extent and duration of metastatic involvement were contributory. Hypocalcemia should be sought in all patients with widespread bone metastases.