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At the origin, idiopathic hypercalciuria has been described as a syndrome consisting of normocalcemia, low plasma phosphate levels and abnormally high urinary calcium excretion. The cause of this syndrome was subject to many investigations throughout the years. Two main pathophysiologic hypotheses have been proposed: a) primary intestinal hyperabsorption of calcium, leading to depression of parathyroid hormone (PTH) secretion ("absorptive" hypercalciuria); and b) primary renal tubular leak of calcium which stimulates PTH secretion (secondary hyperparathyroidism). Most of the published studies indicate that intestinal hyperabsorption of calcium with subsequent relative hypoparathyroidism is the primary event causing idiopathic hypercalciuria, and that this occurs as a consequence of increased production of 1,25(OH)2-vitamin D3 (calcitriol). Fasting hypercalciuria, originally taken as evidence for a "renal leak" of calcium, appears to be, at least in part, the consequence of relative hypoparathyroidism.

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