A woman in her mid-50s with IgA nephropathy, sarcoidosis and steroid-induced diabetes mellitus presented with generalised paraesthesia and spontaneous tetany. She had received denosumab 60 mg subcutaneously 8 weeks previously for parathyroid hormone independent hypercalcaemia.
At admission, she had severe hypocalcaemia (5 mg/dL), hypophosphataemia (1.9 mg/dL), hypomagnesaemia (1.4 mg/dL) and elevated serum creatinine (1.48 mg/dL) with prolonged QTc (corrected QT interval) on electrocardiograph. She initially received intravenous calcium and magnesium followed by oral calcium carbonate and calcitriol. Her prednisolone dose was tapered to 5 mg/day. Evaluation showed secondary hyperparathyroidism (1474 pg/mL) and elevated 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D (195 pg/mL). After 1 week of oral calcium carbonate (3000 mg/day) and calcitriol (1.5 µg/day), she achieved normocalcaemia (8.1 mg/dL).
To conclude, denosumab for hypercalcaemia with renal insufficiency causes prolonged severe symptomatic hypocalcaemia and hypophosphataemia mimicking hungry bone syndrome. It is important to periodically monitor for hypocalcaemia after denosumab.
- Calcium and bone
- Drugs: endocrine system
- Endocrine system
- Adult intensive care
- Unwanted effects / adverse reactions
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Contributors AN had substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; AK had substantial contribution to the acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data for the work; NB had substantial contribution to the final approval of the version to be published. AB revised it critically for important intellectual content.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.