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Endocr Pract. 2011 Nov-Dec;17(6):867-72. doi: 10.4158/EP11022.OR.

Low urine calcium excretion in African American patients with primary hyperparathyroidism.

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  • 1Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan 48201, USA. wtaha@med.wayne.edu



To evaluate the prevalence of low urine calcium excretion in African American patients with primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT), a common disorder associated with bone and renal complications, and to assess the distinction between PHPT and familial hypocalciuric hypercalcemia (FHH), a rare benign genetic disease.


We conducted a retrospective study on a cohort of 1,297 patients in whom a 24-hour urine study was performed for measurement of urine calcium and creatinine. PHPT was diagnosed if the serum calcium concentration was ≥10.5 mg/dL and intact parathyroid hormone (PTH) was ≥40 pg/mL. Patients receiving medications that affect urine calcium or with glomerular filtration rate ≤30 mL/min were excluded.


Ninety-six patients satisfied the diagnostic criteria for PHPT. The African American (n = 70) and non-African American (n = 26) patients did not differ in their mean age, body mass index, glomerular filtration rate, serum PTH, 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels, and 24-hour urine creatinine values. Median values of urine calcium/creatinine (mg/g) were 122 for African American versus 214 for non-African American patients (P = .006). Thirty-one of 70 African American patients (44%) had a urine calcium/creatinine ratio ≤100 mg/g, whereas only 2 of 26 non-African American patients (8%) had this value (P = .001).


The prevalence of low urine calcium excretion among African American patients with PHPT is unexpectedly high. A threshold of 100 mg/g urine calcium/creatinine identified 44% of such patients with PHPT as having FHH in this cohort. Therefore, other clinical criteria and laboratory variables should be used to distinguish PHPT from FHH in African American patients with PTH-dependent hypercalcemia.

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