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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


Hypercalcemia Resulting from Necrotizing Leiomyoma in a Pregnant Female

Challenging differential diagnosis, Rare disease, Clinical situation which can not be reproduced for ethical reasons

Jacqueline Kropf, Mai Vo, Sarah Cheyney, Omar Kayaleh, Jeannie McWhorter, Steve J. Carlan

USA Department of Internal Medicine, Orlando Regional Healthcare, Orlando, FL, USA

Am J Case Rep 2020; 21:e923412

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.923412

Available online: 2020-06-18

Published: 2020-08-05


BACKGROUND: Hypercalcemic crisis is defined as a serum calcium level >14 mg/dL in a symptomatic patient. While severe hypercalcemia during pregnancy is rare, it poses a life-threatening risk to both mother and fetus. Hypercalcemia in association with a benign tumor such as a leiomyoma is exceedingly rare.
CASE REPORT: A 38-year-old primagravida at 31.2 week’s gestation conceived by in vitro fertilization presented to the emergency department for complaints of nausea, vomiting, and epigastric abdominal pain. Her fetal monitor strip was reassuring. A complete metabolic panel on admission was significant for severely elevated calcium of 15.9 mg/dL (8.6-10.3 mg/dL) and an elevated lipase of 1457U/L (11-82 U/L). She was started on aggressive intravenous fluid resuscitation, but became confused and lethargic, unarousable to verbal stimuli, as a result of hypercalcemia. Computed tomography (CT) scan of the abdomen and pelvis revealed a heterogeneously enhancing, placental-appearing soft tissue mass extending posteriorly and to the right that measured 2414 cm. The patient subsequently underwent planned low transverse cesarean delivery and exploratory laparotomy for myomectomy with removal of a 2834-g benign leiomyoma measuring 19.018.514.0 cm. Her serum parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) was elevated to 9.6 pmol/L (<4.2 pmol/L). The patient’s calcium normalized to 9.8 mg/dL (8.6-10.3mg/dL) immediately following surgery.
CONCLUSIONS: Leiomyoma as a cause of hypercalcemia should be included in the differential diagnosis because surgical removal of leiomyoma is curative. Particularly in pregnant patients, for whom medical therapies for hypercalcemia are limited and those available can result in complications, early identification and surgical resection can be life saving.

Keywords: Cesarean Section, Hypercalcemia, Leiomyoma