Parathyroid hormone-dependent familial hypercalcemia with low measured PTH levels and a presumptive novel pathogenic mutation in CaSR


Familial hypocalciuric hypercalcemia (FHH) is a benign autosomal dominant condition characterized by lifelong asymptomatic hypercalcemia. FHH is typically caused by a heterozygous inactivating mutation of the calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR) and characterized by moderate hypercalcemia, inappropriately normal or elevated serum parathyroid hormone (PTH), and relative hypocalciuria (FeCa < 2%) with histologically normal parathyroid glands. FHH should be distinguished from primary hyperparathyroidism so that unnecessary parathyroid surgery is avoided. We report a case that presented with asymptomatic, familial hypercalcemia but low PTH and normal (non-low) urinary calcium excretion found to be secondary to a novel pathogenic inactivating mutation of the CaSR gene. We present an asymptomatic 54-year-old Malaysian woman with incidentally discovered hypercalcemia, intermittent hypophosphatemia, and FeCa > 2%. PTH levels were repeatedly below the mean of the reference range (on two separate assays) and sometimes even below the lower reference limit. Two siblings, one niece, and her son had hypercalcemia without nephrolithiasis. Cinacalcet, used as a PTH-suppression test, normalized serum total and ionized calcium after 7 days of cinacalcet 30 mg BID, confirming her hypercalcemia was PTH-mediated. Given her family history, genetic testing was pursued and discovered a novel pathogenic mutation of the CaSR gene confirming the diagnosis of FHH type 1. Our case represents an atypical presentation of FHH1 with low PTH and FeCa > 2%. This contributes to the expanding clinical and biochemical spectrum of CaSR inactivating mutations and presents an innovative approach to evaluating biochemically uncertain familial hypercalcemia with cinacalcet before pursuing expensive genetic analysis.

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Fig. 1



familial hypocalciuric hypercalcemia


calcium-sensing receptor


parathyroid hormone


primary hyperparathyroidism


G protein subunit alpha11 gene


adaptor-related protein complex 2 gene


body mass index

FeCa :

fractional excretion of calcium


exome aggregation consortium


extracellular domain


transmembrane domains


intracellular domain


familial hypocalciuric hypercalcemia type 1


Venus flytrap


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Correspondence to A. Mahajan.

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Mahajan, A., Buse, J. & Kline, G. Parathyroid hormone-dependent familial hypercalcemia with low measured PTH levels and a presumptive novel pathogenic mutation in CaSR. Osteoporos Int 31, 203–207 (2020).

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  • Calcium-sensing receptor gene
  • Familial hypocalciuric hypercalcemia
  • Hypercalcemia
  • Parathyroid hormone