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Br J Haematol. 2010 May;149(4):465-77. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2141.2010.08173.x. Epub 2010 Apr 4.

Haematological emergencies managing hypercalcaemia in adults and children with haematological disorders.

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Trinity College, and Department of Haematology & Oncology, Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin, Dublin, Ireland.


Hypercalcaemia is a common metabolic complication of malignant disease often requiring emergency intervention. Although it is more frequently associated with solid tumours, malignancy-associated hypercalcaemia (MAH) is seen in a significant number of patients with blood diseases. Its association with myeloma and adult T-cell leukaemia/lymphoma is well recognized but the incidence of hypercalcaemia in other haematological neoplasms, affecting adults and children, is less clearly defined. Haematologists need to be familiar with the clinical manifestations of, the differential diagnosis to be considered and the most effective management strategies that are currently available for MAH. The key components of management of MAH include aggressive rehydration, specific therapy to inhibit bone resorption and, crucially, treatment of the underlying malignancy. Bisphosphonates have revolutionized the management of MAH over the last 20 years, however the elucidation of molecular pathways implicated in MAH is facilitating the development of more targeted approaches to treatment.

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