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Korean J Gastroenterol. 2015 Aug;66(2):122-126. English. Case Reports. https://doi.org/10.4166/kjg.2015.66.2.122
Kim EK , Kim JS , Shin KC , Lee GT , Han CJ , Kim SB , Ku YH .
Department of Internal Medicine, Korea Cancer Center Hospital, Korea Institute of Radiological and Medical Sciences, Seoul, Korea. yhkumd@gmail.com
Department of Surgery, Korea Cancer Center Hospital, Korea Institute of Radiological and Medical Sciences, Seoul, Korea.
Abstract

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the fifth most common cancer in Korea. Diverse paraneoplastic syndromes can occur in patients with HCC, but parathyroid hormone-related peptide (PTH-rP)-induced hypercalcemia is uncommon. Hypercalcemia due to PTH or particularly PTH-rP-secreting HCC is associated with poor outcomes. We report a 71-year-old man who presented with symptoms of vague abdominal discomfort, somnolence, lethargy, nausea, vomiting, and weight loss. Imaging studies revealed a large HCC without metastasis. The laboratory findings showed elevated serum calcium level, low intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH) level and elevated PTH-rP level. These results led to a diagnosis of a PTH-rP-secreting HCC and paraneoplastic hypercalcemia. After emergency management of the hypercalcemia, the patient underwent an extended right hemihepatectomy with cholecystectomy. One year after the surgery, he is alive with normal calcium, PTH-rP, and iPTH levels. This case demonstrates that the rare phenomenon of life-threatening hypercalcemia caused by HCC should not be overlooked. These symptoms offer a good opportunity to diagnose HCC early. Radical tumor resection makes it possible to cure patients with PTH-rP-secreting HCC.

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