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J Neurol Sci. 2000 Apr 15;175(2):135-9.

Influence of immobilization upon calcium metabolism in the week following hemiplegic stroke.

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Department of Neurology, Kurume University Medical Center, Kokubu-machi, 839-0863, Kurume, Japan.


Hip fractures on the paretic side are a serious post-stroke complication and may result from disuse hemiosteopenia, hypovitaminosis D, and an increasing risk of falls. To evaluate short-term immobilization effects, we assessed calcium metabolism in 89 patients 1 week after the hemiplegic stroke and in 36 controls. Patient activity was rated using the Barthel index (BI). Sera from stroke patients and control subjects were assayed for ionized calcium, parathyroid hormone (PTH), 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD), 1, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25-(OH)(2)D), bone Gla protein (BGP; a bone formation marker) and pyridinoline cross-linked carboxy-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen (ICTP; a bone resorption marker). Patients' serum concentrations of ionized calcium and ICTP were higher than in controls and correlated negatively with BI; their BGP concentrations were low, correlating positively with BI. Concentrations of serum 25-OHD, 1,25-(OH)(2)D, and PTH also were low; serum 25-OHD was at a deficient level (<10 ng/ml) in nine patients (10%), an insufficient level (10-20 ng/ml) in 56 (63%), and a sufficient level (>20 ng/ml) in only 24 (27%). PTH correlated negatively with calcium and 1,25-(OH)(2)D. Hypovitaminosis D is common in acute stroke patients. Immobilization from acute hemiplegia can increase bone resorption and serum calcium, and inhibit PTH secretion and 1,25-(OH)(2)D production to add to the effects of hypovitaminosis D.

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