Oncogenic osteomalacia is a syndrome in which unexplained osteomalacia remits after resection of a coexisting mesenchymal tumor. We have investigated the mechanism by which a giant cell tumor of bone caused biopsy-proved osteomalacia in a 42-yr-old woman. The biochemical abnormalities were: hypophosphatemia; decreased renal tubular maximum for the reabsorption of phosphate per liter of glomerular filtrate; negative calcium and phosphorus balance; hyperaminoaciduria; and subnormal calcemic response to exogenously administered parathyroid hormone. Malabsorption, hypophosphatasia, fluorosis, and acidosis were excluded as causes of the osteomalacia. Serum 25-hydroxycholecalciferol was normal (27±1 ng/ml). However, the serum concentration of 1α,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol was low (1.6±0.1 ng/100 ml). Oral administration of physiological amounts of 1α,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol resulted in resolution of the biochemical abnormalities of the syndrome and healing of the bone pathology. We suggest that tumor-induced inhibition of 1α,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol synthesis caused the osteomalacia. The causal role of the tumor was proved by demonstrating that resection was accompanied by roentgenographic evidence of bone healing and maintenance of normal serum phosphorus; renal tubular maximum for the reabsorption of phosphate; calcium and phosphorus balance; aminoaciduria; and calcemic response to exogenous parathyroid hormone.


Marc K. Drezner, Mark N. Feinglos


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