High bone turnover persisting after vitamin D repletion: beware of calcium deficiency
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Treatment of vitamin D deficiency with vitamin D is a common procedure when taking care of elderly patients, calcium supplementation being added only when calcium dietary intake is insufficient. Here, we report the case of a 58-year-old female who was referred to our unit because of suspicion of Paget’s disease of the skull, based on elevated serum alkaline phosphatase and high skull methylene diphosphonate-technetium uptake. She had been prescribed cholecalciferol (100,000 IU/month) and calcium salts for the past 7 months after discovery of severe vitamin D deficiency by her primary care physician. No specific skull bone lesions were observed on both X-ray and computerized tomography. Serum calcium, phosphate and 25(OH) vitamin D levels were normal, while serum C-terminal cross-linked telopeptide, bone alkaline phosphatase and calcitriol were high and daily urinary calcium excretion was low. We found that she had not been compliant with the calcium prescription while vitamin D had been thoroughly taken. We suspected osteomalacia due to calcium deficiency. Both skull uptake and biological abnormalities normalised in few months after adding calcium supplementation to the vitamin D treatment, and spine bone mineral density increased by 9.5 % after 14 months of full treatment. The present case illustrates the necessity for adequate calcium intake during vitamin D repletion to normalise bone mineralisation and turnover and maintain the skeletal integrity.
KeywordsBone alkaline phosphatase Calcium deficiency Osteomalacia
Conflicts of interest
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