A simple test for the diagnosis of absorptive, resorptive and renal hypercalciurias

N Engl J Med. 1975 Mar 6;292(10):497-500. doi: 10.1056/NEJM197503062921002.


A test was developed to diagnose various forms of hypercalciuria. A two-hour urine sample after an overnight fast and a four-hour urine sample after 1 g of calcium by mouth were tested for calcium, cyclic AMP and creatinine. The 24 patients with absorptive hypercalciuria had normocalcemia and normal fasting urinary calcium (less than 0.11 mg per milligram of urinary creatnine). Urinary calcium was high (greater than or equal to 0.2 mg per milligram of creatinine) after a calcium load. Of the 28 patients with primary hyperparathyroidism (resorptive hypercalciuria), 25 had hypercalcemia and 21 had high fasting urinary calcium. Urinary cyclic AMP, elevated in 30 per cent of fasting patients, was high (greater than 4.60 mu moles per gram of creatinine) in 82 per cent of cases after calcium load. Six patients with renal hypercalciuria had normocalcemia, high fasting urinary calcium, and high (greater than 6.86 mu moles per gram of creatinine) or high-normal fasting urinary cyclic AMP was normal. This simple test should facilitate the differentiation of various causes of hypercalciuria.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bone Resorption
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Calcium / urine*
  • Calcium Metabolism Disorders / complications
  • Calcium Metabolism Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Creatinine / urine
  • Cyclic AMP / urine
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Hyperparathyroidism / diagnosis*
  • Intestinal Absorption*
  • Kidney Calculi / etiology*
  • Kidney Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Kidney Tubules / physiopathology*
  • Methods


  • Creatinine
  • Cyclic AMP
  • Calcium