Normal bone turnover in transient hyperphosphatasemia

J Clin Res Pediatr Endocrinol. 2012 Sep;4(3):154-6. doi: 10.4274/jcrpe.680. Epub 2012 May 3.


Transient hyperphosphatasemia of infancy and early childhood (THI) is characterized by a temporary isolated elevation of serum alkaline phosphatase activity (ALP), predominantly its bone or liver isoform, in either sick or healthy children under 5 years of age. Return to normal ALP levels usually occurs within four months. Spontaneous rise of ALP might concern the physician, especially when treating seriously ill children. However, THI is considered a benign biochemical disorder with no clinical consequences. Some existing reports support the hypothesis that THI is a result of increased bone turnover. We present evidence of normal bone turnover in two children with THI. In a one-year-old girl and a boy of the same age, high ALP levels (31 and 109 µkat/L, respectively) were accidentally detected. The children had no signs of metabolic bone disease or of liver disease. The high ALP levels returned to normal in two months, thus fulfilling the diagnosis of THI. In both patients, serum parathyroid hormone and bone turnover markers, serum CrossLaps, and serum osteocalcin were neither elevated, nor did these markers follow the ALP dynamics, thus reflecting normal bone turnover in THI. Children with THI should be spared from extensive investigations and unnecessary vitamin D treatment.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Alkaline Phosphatase / blood*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Bone Development*
  • Child Development*
  • Diarrhea / etiology
  • Failure to Thrive / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidental Findings
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Remission, Spontaneous


  • Biomarkers
  • Alkaline Phosphatase