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Am J Med. 1987 Nov;83(5):984-90.

Long-term intracaval calcium infusion therapy in end-organ resistance to 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D.

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  • 1Bone Disease Unit, Ichilov Hospital, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Israel.


Two boys aged six and four with the syndrome of hereditary resistance to 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 with rickets alopecia and growth retardation are presented. After unsuccessful therapeutic trials with pharmacologic doses of vitamin D or its active metabolites, the patients were treated by long-term intracaval infusions of calcium through an implantable catheter. A total of 0.5 to 0.9 g of elemental calcium was infused daily for 18 months and the serum calcium concentration was maintained at 9 to 10 mg/dl. Bone pain subsided within one week of treatment. Serum phosphorus, immunoreactive parathyroid hormone, and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D concentrations and alkaline phosphatase activity were normalized within four to nine months. Radiographs of the knees and hands revealed progressive healing of rickets with complete resolution after one year of treatment. The patients gained 12 cm and 8 cm per year in height as compared with 3 cm and 2 cm, respectively, in the previous year. A transilial bone biopsy obtained from one patient prior to treatment revealed severe osteomalacia associated with osteitis fibrosa. A follow-up biopsy examined after 12 months of therapy showed almost complete healing of osteomalacia and normal mineralization. These observations indicate the following: (1) Long-term intracaval calcium infusions are an effective mode of therapy for these patients, and (2) When adequate serum calcium and phosphorus concentrations are maintained, healing of rickets and normal growth rate could be achieved even in the absence of a normal 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 receptor-effector system.

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