Incidence of humoral hypercalcemia of malignancy among hypercalcemic patients with cancer

Jeffrey J. Szymanski, Zaher K. Otrock, Khushbu K. Patel, Mitchell G. Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: Malignancy-associated hypercalcemia (MAHC) is the most common cause of hypercalcemia among hospitalized patients. MAHC can result from the production of parathyroid hormone related peptide (PTHrP) which is known as humoral hypercalcemia of malignancy (HHM). HHM is commonly thought to account for approximately 80% of MAHC. Methods: We conducted a 12-year review of PTHrP testing at our institution to establish the prevalence of HHM among patients with MAHC. Results: A total of 524 PTHrP immunoassays were performed during the study period of which 470 tests qualified for inclusion in the analysis. Evidence of malignancy was found for 242 of 470 patients (51%). No etiology could be determined for 98 cases of MAHC (40%) and increased PTHrP contributed to 92 cases (38%) of MAHC. Age, race and gender were not associated with HHM. Increased PTHrP was observed at initial malignancy diagnosis in 20% of cases. PTHrP was never increased outside of the context of malignancy. Discussion: The prevalence of HHM among patients with MAHC is likely to be lower than previously described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)190-193
Number of pages4
JournalClinica Chimica Acta
StatePublished - Jan 30 2016


  • Hypercalcemia
  • Malignancy
  • Prevalence
  • PTHrP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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