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Fluctuating hypercalcaemia caused by cavitary Mycobacterium bovis pulmonary infection
  1. Darren Patrick Moloney1,
  2. Liam Chawke1,
  3. Mairead Therese Crowley2,
  4. Terence M O’Connor1
  1. 1Department of Respiratory Medicine, Mercy University Hospital, Cork, Munster, Ireland
  2. 2Department of Medicine, Mercy Hospital, Cork, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Darren Patrick Moloney, 111332391{at}


Hypercalcaemia occurs in many granulomatous diseases. Among them, sarcoidosis and tuberculosis are the most common causes. Other causes include berylliosis, coccidioidomycosis, histoplasmosis, Crohn’s disease, silicone-induced granulomas, cat-scratch disease, Wegener’s granulomatosis and Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia. Hypercalcaemia in granulomatous disease occurs as a consequence of dysregulated production of 1,25-(OH)2 D3 (calcitriol) by activated macrophages in granulomas. Hypercalcaemia in patients with Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection has been reported in 0%–28% of cases. Uncultured bronchoalveolar lavage cells from patients with M. tuberculosis produce greater amounts of calcitriol compared with controls. Although Nayar et al described hypercalcaemia in a case of sepsis associated with intravesical Bacille Calmette Guerin therapy, there are no published reports describing hypercalcaemia in patients with pulmonary M. bovis infection. We describe a patient with M. bovis cavitary pulmonary infection with sustained hypercalcaemia that fluctuated and recurred repeatedly over the course of therapy, ultimately culminating in normalisation of serum calcium when therapy had led to cure. Treatment consisted of antituberculous therapy, oral corticosteroids and intravenous bisphosphonates with a favourable outcome.

  • endocrine system
  • calcium and bone
  • tb and other respiratory infections
  • tuberculosis
  • acute renal failure
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  • Contributors DPM: performed planing, data collection and reporting of the case report entitled ‘Fluctuating hypercalcaemia caused by cavitary Mycobacterium bovis pulmonary infection’. MTC: performed an initial review and subsequent planning of the article. LC and TMO’C: performed extensive reviews and planning of the above article; they were also primary carers for the patient during his inpatient stay.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

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

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