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Hypercalcaemia caused by calcium sulfate beads
  1. Samuel Epstein and
  2. Diego E Vanegas Acosta
  1. College of Medicine, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, Florida, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Diego E Vanegas Acosta; diego.vanegasacosta{at}


Hypercalcaemia is a relatively common metabolic disturbance seen in hospitalised patients; however, given the complicated systems of calcium regulation, it can take a significant amount of time and testing to pinpoint the aetiology. This case discusses a patient who developed acute hypercalcaemia from calcium sulfate-containing antibiotic beads placed during an orthopaedic procedure. These beads are used in surgical procedures to fill gaps/voids in bony structures and for local delivery of antibiotics. The case highlights the importance of careful review of a patient’s hospital course, including the administration of medical products that may not be clearly documented on a patient’s medicine administration record when working up an unexplained finding.

  • Hip implants
  • Calcium and bone
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Medical management

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  • Contributors DEVA solved the clinical scenario as an internal medicine consultant. SE performed literature review of the topic. SE took the lead in writing the manuscript. SE elaborated figures. All authors discussed and contributed to the final manuscript.

  • 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.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.