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Rheumatol Int. 2006 Aug;26(10):908-15. Epub 2006 Jan 11.

Hypercalcemia in rheumatoid arthritis: relationship with disease activity and bone metabolism.

Author information

1
Department of Internal Medicine III, Division of Rheumatology/Osteology, Friedrich-Schiller University, Erlanger Allee 101, 07740 Jena, Germany. peter.oelzner@med.uni-jena.de

Abstract

To investigate the relationship between ionized calcium and disease activity, parameters of bone metabolism and bone mineral density (BMD) at the lumbar spine (BMD-LS) and the femoral neck (BMD-FN) measured by dual X-ray absorptiometry in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In 146 patients with RA, the following parameters were investigated: serum levels of ionized calcium, total calcium, vitamin D metabolites 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25D3) and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25D3), intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH), interleukin-6, osteocalcin, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and c-reactive protein (CRP); renal excretion of pyridinolin (PYD)- and desoxypyridinolin (DPD)-crosslinks. A total of 30.1% of the patients were hypercalcemic (ionized calcium >1.30 mmol/l). In comparison with normocalcemic patients, those with hypercalcemia had significantly higher ESR (P<0.01) and CRP values (P<0.05) and significantly lower serum levels of both iPTH (P<0.01) and 1,25D3 (P<0.05) and a significantly lower BMD-LS (P<0.05). The results indicate that a substantial part of RA patients is hypercalcemic. Hypercalcemia is associated with high disease activity and may contribute to suppression of PTH secretion and vitamin D hormone synthesis. High levels of ionized calcium may be a reflection of disease-activity-related systemic bone loss, and could be a predictor of BMD at the lumbar spine in RA.

PMID:
16404562
DOI:
10.1007/s00296-005-0095-y
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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