Severe hypocalcemia following bisphosphonate treatment in a patient with Paget's disease of bone.
Bisphosphonate therapy is a common and effective treatment for Paget's disease of bone, osteoporosis, hypercalcemia of malignancy and cancer metastatic to bone. Clinically significant hypocalcemia has not been reported in patients with Paget's disease of bone and normal parathyroid function treated with an aminobisphosphonate. We treated a 52-year-old woman with polyostotic Paget's disease of bone (serum alkaline phosphatase level-1971 IU/L [normal 31-110 IU/L]), who had not previously received bisphosphonates, with daily oral 30 mg risedronate, oral 1000 mg elemental calcium and oral 400 IU cholecalciferol. After 10 days of treatment, she developed severe hypocalcemia (5.4 mg/dL [normal 8.7-10.2 mg/dL]), requiring hospitalization and support with 5 days of intravenous calcium gluconate. On the day risedronate treatment began, her PTH was low normal at 14 pg/mL (normal 12-72 pg/mL), consistent with a relatively suppressed PTH axis due to high bone turnover. Her vitamin D level was within normal limits (serum 25(OH)D 19 ng/mL [normal 8-38 ng/mL]), although possibly not optimally repleted. We hypothesize that this case represents an example of hungry bone syndrome in a patient with extensive Paget's disease of bone who received risedronate, causing acute suppression of bone resorption while elevated bone formation rates continued. In the year following her recovery, the patient was successfully treated with slowly titrated anti-resorptive therapy (subcutaneous calcitonin followed by titrated doses of risedronate), and is now clinically well. Physicians should be aware of the potential for hypocalcemia when patients with polyostotic Paget's disease and markedly elevated indicators of bone remodeling are initiated on powerful anti-resorptive therapy.
Whitson, HE; Lobaugh, B; Lyles, KW
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