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Are Tuberculous Patients at a Great Risk from Hypercalcemia?

M. FUSS, R. KARMALI, T. PEPERSACK, A. BERGANS, P. DIERCKX, T. PRIGOGINE, P. BERGMANN, J. CORVILAIN
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/ 869-878 First published online: 1 November 1988

Abstract

The risk of tuberculous patients to develop hypercalcemia was investigated in 33 patients aged 19 to 80. Twenty-two of the 33 received no vitamin D supplements. Before antituberculous chemotherapy serum calcium corrected for albumin and urinary calcium levels were normal, serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25(OH)D) levels were low, but serum 1,25(OH)2D levels, oral calcium load test and intestinal 47Ca absorption were normal. After 17 to 34 days of chemotherapy serum calcium corrected for albumin and 1,25(OH)2D levels were lower without change in serum D-binding protein.

In 11 patients 25(OH)D, 50 μg/day, was given orally for two months. 25(OH)D given three days before chemotherapy in five patients induced an Increase of levels of 1,25(OH)2D which was greater than in 10 control patients with similar serum levels of 25(OH)D. When chemotherapy was added to 25(OH)D, the five patients showed high normal 1,25(OH)2D levels. The last six patients received 25(OH)D together with or after starting chemotherapy. None of the 33 patients developed hypercalcemia, even when supplemented with 25(OH)D for two months. It appears that hypercalcemia is uncommon in tuberculosis.