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Calcium Metabolism in Acromegaly

Br Med J 1968; 4 doi: (Published 28 December 1968) Cite this as: Br Med J 1968;4:797
  1. A. Nadarajah,
  2. M. Hartog,
  3. Brenda Redfern,
  4. N. Thalassinos,
  5. A. D. Wright,
  6. G. F. Joplin,
  7. T. Russell Fraser


    A total of 78 acromegalic patients were studied before and after treatment by yttrium-90 needle implantation.

    Among the untreated patients 16% had a borderline or raised serum calcium. In half of these patients the serum calcium fell to normal after remission of their acromegaly. In the others the hypercalcaemia was due to associated proved or probable hyperparathyroidism. A downward trend of the serum calcium was noted even in the normocalcaemic patients with remission of their disease.

    Only 20% of untreated patients had a raised serum phosphate, and follow-up showed this measurement to be a poor index of disease activity.

    Net calcium absorption and calcium balances in five patients in this series and 12 others from the literature were essentially normal for their given level of calcium intake. No patient showed definite radiological evidence of osteoporosis and vertebral fractures.

    Bone uptake rate of calcium-47 and stable strontium was raised in the untreated state in all nine patients studied. The 24-hour strontium space was raised in 73% of untreated patients and fell to normal after treatment in all the retested patients in whom it was high initially.