Hypercalcaemia and calcium homeostasis

M. Peacock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


Hypercalcaemia Is a common clinical problem and may be the first sign that a patient has a disease affecting calcium metabolism. For the rational treatment of such patients it is essential not only to diagnose the underlying disease, but also to establish the mechanisms causing the hypercalcaemia. To achieve both these aims an understanding of calcium metabolism and the factors involved In maintaining normal plasma calcium homeostasis is necessary. There are three major calcium compartments ; in the skeleton, calcium is essential for the mechanical function of bone ; in the cell, calcium Is involved in many fundamental biochemical activities and in the extracellular fluid, calcium concentration determines the activity of the neuromuscular system. The skeleton is the largest compartment and potentially the major calcium reservoir. The extracellular fluid is the smallest but also the busiest since most of the transported calcium flows through it. Transport of calcium, through the calcium compartments is largely carried out by three organs ;. the gut, the bone and the kidney. Each of these organs has intrinsic mechanisms for transporting calcium which are affected by many factors. They are, however, largely controlled by the calcium hormones, in particular, parathyroid hormone and 1,25(OH)2D and enable calcium requirements to be met without major disturbance in plasma calcium. The purpose of this paper is to describe in broad terms the main features of calcium homeostasis as an introduction to the papers dealing with specific aspects of the treatment of hypercalcaemla.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-150
Number of pages8
JournalMetabolic Bone Disease and Related Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1980


  • 1,25(OH) vitamin D
  • Gut, bone and kidney
  • Parathyroid hormone
  • Plasma calcium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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