Arch Hellen Med, 20(5), September-October 2003, 512-518
Incidence of hypercalcemia among patients
A. ROUSSOS,1 C. COSTIKAS,2
J. LAGOYIANNI,1 A. GONIS,2
OBJECTIVE Hypercalcemia is known to occur in association with granulomatous diseases. The aim of this study was to ascertain the incidence of hypercalcemia and to determine the prevalence of associated symptoms in Greek patients with newly diagnosed tuberculosis (TB), before the initiation of antituberculosis treatment.
METHOD All patients with newly diagnosed TB presenting during a 3-year period evaluated prospectively. In total, 88 patients with TB (50 males and 38 females), aged 23–89 years (mean age±SD 46.4±19 years) were evaluated and 65 age and sex-matched controls with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (36 males and 29 females), aged 28–88 years (mean age±SD 47.2±18 years). Among the TB patients, 56 had pulmonary TB, 20 had pleural TB without evidence of pulmonary parenchymal involvement, 8 had pulmonary and pleural TB and 4 had disseminated disease.
RESULTS The mean albumin-adjusted serum calcium concentration and the mean ionized calcium concentration were significantly higher in the TB group (2.49±0.21 mmoL/L and 1.27±0.02 mmoL/L, respectively) than in the control group (2.36±0.11 mmoL/L and 1.19±0.02 mmoL/L, respectively; Ρ<0.05). In the TB group no correlation between the type of disease and either albumin-adjusted or ionized calcium concentration was observed. Hypercalcemia was detected in 22 patients with TB (25%) but only three of them showed associated symptoms.
CONCLUSIONS Hypercalcemia is a common laboratory finding among Greek patients with TB before anti-TB chemotherapy, but it is usually asymptomatic.
Key words: Hypercalcemia, Ionized calcium, Tuberculosis.