BMJ Case Reports 2011; doi:10.1136/bcr.12.2010.3663
  • Novel treatment (new drug/intervention; established drug/procedure in new situation)

Cinacalcet to prevent parathyrotoxic crises in hypercalcaemic patients awaiting parathyroidectomy

  1. Philippe Janklewicz3
  1. 1Department of Nephrology and Dialysis, Centre Hospitalier Privé Claude Galien, Quincy Sous Senart, France
  2. 2Department of Thoracic Surgery, CHP Claude Galien, Quincy Sous Senart, France
  3. 3Department of Radiology, CHP Claude Galien, Quincy Sous Senart, France
  1. Correspondence to Dr Guy Rostoker, rostotom{at}


Primary hyperparathyroidism is the third most common endocrine disorder. Hypercalcaemia exceeding 3 mmol/l is a major risk factor for parathyrotoxic crises, and management of patients at risk remains a medical challenge. The authors recently managed three such patients referred for severe nephrolithiasis. All had severe hypercalcaemia (at least 3 mmol/l). Instead of the usual management, which involves hospitalisation in an intensive care environment (for about 5–7 days) for rehydration and infusion of intravenous bisphosphonates, followed by emergency parathyroidectomy, the three patients received ambulatory cinacalcet (not an approved indication), 30 mg twice a day. The serum calcium normalised in two cases and declined to a safe level in the third case, allowing minimally invasive parathyroidectomy to be performed at a date chosen according to the patients’ and surgeon’s respective schedules. The authors consider that cinacalcet may benefit severely hypercalcaemic patients awaiting surgery for primary hyperparathyroidism.


  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

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