Electrolytic Abnormalities Related to Calcium in Critically Ill Cancer Patients

  • Agamenón Quintero
  • Jorge RacedoEmail author
  • Manuel González Fernández
Reference work entry


Common conditions in critically ill cancer patients may affect the amount of ionized Ca2+ such as the metabolic alkalosis in which there is an increased calcium binding to albumin and the metabolic acidosis in which there is a decreased calcium binding to albumin. This occurs because ICU cancer patients are often hypoalbuminemic and have other electrolytic abnormalities and impairments in their acid-base balance or because of chemotherapeutic drugs and underlying comorbidities. High plasma Ca2+ (hypercalcemia) and low plasma Ca2+ (hypocalcemia) may develop metabolic disorders and cellular dysfunction in the patients hospitalized in the ICU, especially those with malignant diseases. As a result, some clinically important manifestations include neuromuscular and cardiovascular dysfunction like tetany, seizures, a prolonged QT interval, and ventricular arrhythmia or gastrointestinal, renal, and osteomuscular disorders. This chapter provides a summary of the approach to ICU cancer patients with altered serum Ca2 levels, their diagnosis, and management to avoid life-threatening complications.


Calcium homeostasis Calcium absorption Hypercalcemia Hypocalcemia Hypoparathyroidism Hyperparathyroidism Oncologic emergency 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Agamenón Quintero
    • 1
  • Jorge Racedo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Manuel González Fernández
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Critical Care MedicineInstituto Médico de Alta Tecnología IMAT OncomedicaMonteríaColombia
  2. 2.Department of Hematology and OncologyInstituto Médico de Alta Tecnología IMAT OncomedicaMonteríaColombia

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