Papers And Originals

Phosphate Treatment of Hypercalcaemia Due to Carcinoma

Br Med J 1968; 4 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.4.5622.14 (Published 05 October 1968) Cite this as: Br Med J 1968;4:14

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  1. N. Thalassinos,
  2. G. F. Joplin

    Abstract

    Thirteen patients with hypercalcaemia due to carcinoma received inorganic phosphate, orally or intravenously, as palliative treatment for their high serum calcium levels. The serum calcium promptly fell in all patients fully treated, and there was a striking clinical improvement in most patients. The blood urea was usually unchanged or became nearer to normal, while the serum phosphate altered variably. Only two of the eight patients who were studied at necropsy had microscopical nephrocalcinosis; corneal calcification was evident in both before phosphate treatment was started.

    This oral inorganic phosphate (1 gramme thrice daily) is a safe and effective means of treating hypercalcaemia due to carcinoma. An intravenous infusion of 1 gramme over eight hours may sometimes be required initially for patients who are vomiting.