Metabolic bone disease in patients receiving long-term total parenteral nutrition
Bone Diseases, Metabolic
Parenteral Nutrition, Total
We have prospectively investigated calcium and bone metabolism in 16 patients receiving total parenteral nutrition for periods ranging from 7 to 89 months. In 12 patients, bone biopsies at 6 to 73 months after the start of parenteral nutrition showed osteomalacia. Plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels were normal in all patients. Seven persons developed hypercalcemia, and 10 had hypercalciuria with a negative calcium balance. Serum phosphorus was normal and plasma parathyroid hormone level, normal or decreased. Three patients with the severest form of the disease had vitamin D withdrawn from their solutions. Subsequently, urinary calcium decreased, and serum calcium became normal; two persons reverted to a positive calcium balance. Thus, patients receiving total parenteral nutrition may develop metabolic bone disease characterized by osteomalacia, hypercalcemia, hypercalciuria, and a negative calcium balance. This may be caused by both defective mineralization and increased bone resorption induced by vitamin D, its metabolites, or another unrecognized factor.