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Esophageal carcinoma with high serum parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) level

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We report two patients with esophageal carcinoma with high levels of serum parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP). Patient 1 was a 66-year-old man in whom the serum calcium level was also high, and patient 2 was an 81-year-old woman. The serum PTHrP level was 411 pM (normal range, 13.8–55.3 pM) in patient 1 and 94.5 pM in patient 2 (in whom the serum granulocyte colony-stimulating factor level was also high). We demonstrated PTHrP immunohistologically in esophageal carcinoma cells in both patients. After admission, patient 1 died of pneumonia on the 17th day of hospitalization (the 48th day after he had had an episode of frequent hiccuping) and patient 2 died of acute circulatory failure on the 12th day of hospitalization (the 25th day after she had vomited after a meal). Neither of these patients died of cancer. Pneumonia in patient 1 was believed to be due to weakened body defenses, while the acute circulatory failure in patient 2 was due to emaciation. Since esophageal carcinoma with humoral hypercalcemia of malignancy and leukocytosis is characterized by rapid progression and metastasis, early diagnosis and treatment are mandatory.

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Received: December 10, 1998 / Accepted: February 26, 1999

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Watanabe, H., Matsushita, H., Matsui, H. et al. Esophageal carcinoma with high serum parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) level. J Gastroenterol 34, 510–515 (1999).

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