Diagnosis of normocalcemic hyperparathyroidism by oral calcium loading test

Philippe Hagag*, I. Revet-Zak, N. Hod, T. Horne, M. J. Rapoport, M. Weiss

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We evaluated the oral calcium-loading test (OCLT) in diagnosing normocalcemic primary hyperparathyroidism. Calcium and PTH levels were measured before, 60, 120 and 180 min after oral 1 g of calcium gluconolactate administration in 102 consecutive females with high circulating PTH levels, and 25 controls. Patients were classified as follows: Group A, patients with a parathyroid adenoma identified by two imaging modalities. Sub-Group AO, hyperparathyroid patients [no.=13, mean age 59 yr (SD=10)] evaluated prior to parathyroidectomy. Sub-Group AH, non-operated hypercalcemic patients [no.=29, age 63 yr (SD=11)]. Sub-Group AN, normocalcemic non-operated women [no.=14, age 59 yr (SD=8)]. Group B, normocalcemic individuals [no.=46, age 58 yr (SD=11)] with negative parathyroid imaging. Group C, control patients [no.= 25, age 56 yr (SD= 12)]. The concentrations of calcium and PTH overlapped in the normocalcemic groups during the OCLT. Product P, defined as circulating PTH nadir (pg/ml) x peak calcium concentration (mg/dl), better discriminated Sub-Group AN from Group B, AUC=0.98 (95% Cl 0.95, 1.00) than did Ratio R, defined as relative PTH decline/relative calcium increment, AUC= 0.86 (95%CI 0.73, 0.99). Assuming normal threshold of Product P and Ratio R at 260 and 17 respectively, the combined parameters diagnose normocalcemic hyperparathyroid patients with 100% sensitivity and 87% specificity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-332
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Endocrinological Investigation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2003


  • Calcium loading test
  • Diagnosis
  • Hyperparathyroidism
  • Parathyroidectomy
  • Receiver operating characteristics


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