Amer A. Budayr, MD; Robert A. Nissenson, PhD; Robert F. Klein, MD; K.K. Pun, MD; Orlo H. Clark, MD; Dinh Diep, BS; Claude D. Arnaud, MD; Gordon J. Strewler, MD
Study Objective: To measure the serum levels of a newly described parathyroid hormone-like protein (PLP), which was isolated from malignant tumors associated with hypercalcemia, and determine whether PLP is a humoral factor in malignancy-associated hypercalcemia.
Design: A cross-sectional study of serum levels of PLP using a newly developed radioimmunoassay.
Setting: A university-affiliated Veterans Administration hospital in San Francisco, California, a University hospital in Hong Kong, and a private hospital in Danville, Pennsylvania.
Patients: Patients with hypercalcemia (calcium > 2.65 mmol/L) and a diagnosis of malignancy were studied. Control groups included normocalcemic patients with malignancy, patients with hyperparathyroidism, and normal subjects.
Measurements and Main Results: Serum immunoreactive PLP (iPLP) levels in normal subjects were less than 2.5 pmol eq/L (10 pg/mL), and 68% of subjects had undetectable levels. The serum concentration of iPLP was normal in 15 of 16 hypercalcemic patients with hyperparathyroidism. Serum iPLP was increased ( > 2.5 pmol eq/L) in 36 of 65 (55%) patients with malignancy-associated hypercalcemia, with a mean value of 6.1 ± 0.9 pmol eq/L (24 pg/mL). In a subgroup of patients with solid tumors, serum iPLP was increased in 30 (71%) of 42 hypercalcemic patients, with a mean value of 6.5 0± 0.9 pmol eq/L. Serum iPLP was elevated in only 3 of 23 normocalcemic patients with cancer. In patients with solid malignancies (n = 59), levels of iPLP were positively correlated with the total serum calcium (r = 0.43, P < 0.01).
Conclusions: The data indicate a relation between the serum concentration of iPLP and the presence of hypercalcemia in solid malignancies. The results support a role for PLP as a humoral mediator of hypercalcemia in most patients with solid tumors. Measurement of iPLP should be useful in the differential diagnosis of hypercalcemia.
Amer A. Budayr, Robert A. Nissenson, Robert F. Klein, K.K. Pun, Orlo H. Clark, Dinh Diep, et al. Increased Serum Levels of a Parathyroid Hormone-like Protein in Malignancy-Associated Hypercalcemia. Ann Intern Med. 1989;111:807–812. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-111-10-807
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1989;111(10):807-812.
Endocrine and Metabolism, Fluid and Electrolyte Disorders, Nephrology.
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