Familial Hypocalciuric Hypercalcemia in Pregnancy: Diagnostic Pitfalls

Alicia R. Jones, Matthew J.L. Hare, Justin Brown, Jun Yang, Caroline Meyer, Frances Milat, Carolyn A. Allan

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Familial hypocalciuric hypercalcemia (FHH) is a group of autosomal dominant disorders caused by dysfunction of the calcium sensing receptor (CaSR) and its downstream signaling proteins, leading to generally asymptomatic hypercalcemia. During pregnancy, distinguishing FHH from primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) is important, as the latter is associated with adverse outcomes and can be treated surgically during pregnancy, whereas the former is benign. This case report highlights the difficulties in diagnosing FHH during pregnancy. A 32-year-old woman was found to have asymptomatic hypercalcemia at 14-weeks’ gestation. Investigations showed a corrected calcium (cCa) of 2.61 mmol/L (2.10 to 2.60), ionized Ca (iCa) of 1.40 mmol/L (1.15 to 1.28), 25OHD of 33 nmol/L (75 to 250),and PTH of 9.5 pmol/L (1.5 to 7.0). The patient was treated with 2000 IU cholecalciferol daily with normalization of 25OHD. The urine calcium/creatinine clearance ratio (CCCR) was 0.0071, and neck US did not visualize a parathyroid adenoma. Upon a retrospective review of the patient’s biochemistry from 2 years prior, hypercalcemia was found that was not investigated. The patient was monitored with serial iCa levels and obstetric US. She delivered a healthy boy at 38-weeks’ gestation. Postnatal iCa was 1.48 mmol/Land remained elevated. Her son had elevated iCa at birth of 1.46 mmol/L (1.15 to 1.33), which rose to 1.81 mmol/L by 2 weeks. He was otherwise well. Given the familial hypercalcemia, a likely diagnosis of FHH was made. Genetic testing of the son revealed a mis-sense mutation, NM_000388.3(CASR): c.2446A > G, in exon 7 of the CaSR, consistent with FHH type 1. To our knowledge, there are only three existing reports of FHH in pregnancy. When differentiating between FHH and PHPT in pregnancy, interpretation of biochemistry requires an understanding of changes in Ca physiology, and urine CCCR may be unreliable. If the decision is made to observe, clinical symptoms, calcium levels, and fetal US should be monitored, with biochemistry and urine CCCR performed postpartum, once lactation is completed
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere10362
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalJBMR Plus
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


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