Hypercalcaemia secondary to ectopic parathyroid hormone expression in an adolescent with metastatic alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma

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We report the case of a 14-year-old male with metastatic alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, presenting with hypercalcaemia (3.89 mmol/l) and elevated parathyroid hormone (PTH) level (10.2 pmol/l). Imaging demonstrated extensive bony lytic damage, with “floating teeth” in the mandible. Normalisation of calcium levels and bony reformation of the mandible occurred following chemotherapy; PTH levels decreased initially but remained above normal levels. Imaging did not demonstrate any evidence of parathyroid abnormality. Tumour ectopic PTH secretion is a very rare cause of hypercalcaemia of malignancy in children. Hypercalcaemia with an elevated PTH, in the absence of parathyroid-related cause, should prompt investigation for underlying malignancy.

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