Hypercalcemia in children: three cases report with unusual clinical presentations

Abstract Hypercalcemia is a rare condition in childhood; the most common causes are primary hyperparathyroidism, malignancy, prolonged immobilisation, thyrotoxicosis, thiazide diuretic, supplements containing calcium, milk-alkali syndrome, vitamin D intoxication, infections and idiopathic. We present three cases of severe hypercalcemia of unusual causes in children. The first patient had high fever, poor general condition, weight loss and myalgia. Extensive preliminary investigation did not define the etiology, but a review of medical history revealed prolonged contact with pet bird and a positive serology for Chlamydia confirmed the diagnosis of psittacosis. The second patient had generalized lymphadenopathy and hepatosplenomegaly with fever a month ago. Paracoccidioides brasiliensis was identified in myelogram; the patient showed partial improvement with the use of co-trimoxazole, with subsequent emergence of multiple osteolytic lesions. A smear of gastric lavage was positive for Mycobacterium tuberculosis and the patient was treated with rifampicin, isoniazid, ethambutol and pyrazinamide, with improvement of clinical condition. The third patient was treated by hypercalciuria and idiopathic hypomagnesiuria with daily use of cholecalciferol; the patient had a two quilograms of weight loss in the past two months. No cause of hypercalcemia could be detected in laboratory workout. The capsules of cholecalciferol were analyzed and presented an amount of 832,000 IU of vitamin D per capsule. Acute hypercalcemia in childhood may be due to exogenous vitamin D intoxication, as well as infectious causes. The possible causal relationship between psittacosis and occurrence of hypercalcemia alert to the need for detailed investigation of the epidemiological antecedents.