Tumor-Induced Osteomalacia: Clinical and Basic Studies

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A patient with classic clinical and biochemical features of tumor-induced osteomalacia (hypophosphatemia, phosphaturia, and undetectable serum concentrations of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D [1,25(OH)2D]) was studied before and after resection of a benign extraskeletal chondroma from the plantar surface of the foot. Presurgical laboratory evaluation was notable for normal serum concentrations of calcium, intact parathyroid hormone (PTH), parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP), and osteocalcin, increased serum alkaline phosphatase activity, and frankly elevated urinary cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and pyridinium cross-link excretion. Quantitative histomorphometry showed severe osteomalacia and deep erosions of the cancellous surface by active osteoclasts. After resection, serum 1,25(OH)2D normalized within 24 h, while renal tubular phosphorus reabsorption and serum phosphorus did not normalize until days 2 and 3, respectively; serum Ca declined slightly, and serum intact PTH, osteocalcin, and urinary pyridinium cross-link excretion increased dramatically. Urinary cAMP excretion declined immediately after resection and then began to increase concomitant with the increase in serum intact PTH. A second bone biopsy taken 3 months after resection demonstrated complete resolution of the osteomalacia, increased mineral apposition rate (1.09 μ/day), resorption surface (9.2%), mineralizing surface (71%), and bone formation rate (0.83 mm3/mm2/day), and marked decreases in cancellous bone volume (13.1%) and trabecular connectivity compared with the first biopsy. Tumor extracts did not affect phosphate transport in renal epithelial cell lines or 1α-hydroxylase activity in a myelomonocytic cell line. The patient's course suggests that the abnormal 1,25(OH)2D and phosphorus metabolism is due to a tumor product that may be acting via stimulation of adenylate cyclase activity. Increased bone resorption prior to surgical resection suggests that the tumor may also produce an osteoclast activator. The rise in resorption surface and pyridinium cross-link excretion, increase in serum osteocalcin and bone mineralization, normalization of osteoid width, and fall in cancellous bone volume after resection are consistent with healing of osteomalacia by rapid remodeling.

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