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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1989 Sep;69(3):593-9.

Hysteresis in the relationship between serum ionized calcium and intact parathyroid hormone during recovery from induced hyper- and hypocalcemia in normal humans.

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Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02115.


We have used an immunoradiometric assay for intact PTH in conjunction with calcium and citrate infusions to study whether levels of intact PTH are responsive to reversal of the direction of change in ionized calcium in normal humans. Eleven normal subjects received graded infusions of citrate or calcium on separate days to produce linear rates of decrease or increase in calcium. After discontinuation of the infusions, the return of calcium toward baseline was followed. Six subjects were given an infusion of citrate after the calcium infusion to speed the recovery of calcium toward baseline. Citrate-induced hypocalcemia produced a rise in serum PTH levels from 28.1 +/- 3.6 to 69.4 +/- 4.8 ng/L as calcium fell from 1.26 +/- 0.01 to 1.06 +/- 0.02 mmol/L. As calcium returned toward baseline, PTH levels fell dramatically, reaching levels indistinguishable from baseline despite persistent hypocalcemia. Slopes of regression lines defining the PTH-calcium relationships during decreasing and increasing calcium levels were significantly different. Those subjects receiving a calcium infusion alone showed a prompt suppression of PTH levels. As calcium returned toward baseline after the infusion, a modest decline in calcium produced no significant change in the PTH-calcium relationship. When citrate was used to return calcium to baseline, PTH levels rose from 7.8 +/- 2.0 to 55.0 +/- 6.8 ng/L as calcium fell from 1.42 +/- 0.02 to 1.26 +/- 0.02 mmol/L and defined a regression relationship significantly different from the period of increasing calcium. Thus, a hysteretic relationship between ionized calcium and levels of intact PTH can be induced in normal humans by reversing the direction of change in calcium. Therefore, the role played by calcium concentration per se in controlling PTH secretion may be part of more complex and dynamic regulatory mechanisms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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