Abnormalities in Calcium Homeostasis

  • Ruben Diaz
  • Larisa Suárez-Ortega


Calcium plays an important role in a number of physiological processes as diverse as bone formation and turnover, neuronal cell excitability, muscle contractility, and blood clotting. Significant shifts in serum calcium concentration have adverse effects on these physiological functions. In children, maintenance of adequate calcium balance is particularly important since bone deposition and growth are closely linked to the availability of calcium. Higher organisms have developed mechanisms to regulate the extracellular concentration of calcium, normally affected by intermittent changes in calcium absorption in the gut, continuous mineral bone turnover, and calcium losses in the urine. Extracellular calcium levels are set within a very narrow range by the concerted action of several regulatory “calciotropic” hormones on calcium handling in the gastrointestinal tract, bone, and kidney. The abnormal function of calciotropic hormones or the failure of any of these organs to handle calcium properly can cause either hypo-or hypercalcemia. Treatment is directed at restoring normal calcium levels by either enhancing calcium availability or promoting its clearance from the extracellular compartment.


Calcium Hypercalcemia Hypocalcemia Vitamin D Parathyroid hormone Phosphate Calcium-sensing receptor Hypoparathyroidism Hyperparathyroidism 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.EndocrinologySant Joan de Deu-Barcelona Children’s HospitalBarcelonaSpain

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