Background & aims: Recent interest in vitamin D has led to a substantial increase in the use of vitamin D supplements. Vitamin D intoxication may be a concern as hypervitaminosis D can result in irreversible calcification of soft tissues so that it is important to detect early markers of vitamin D intoxication. Our aim was to assess the simultaneous presence of biochemical markers of vitamin D toxicity (i.e. hypervitaminosis D, hypercalcemia) and determine the concentrations of 25-OH-vitamin D at which the risk of hypercalcemia, and thus toxicity, might begin.
Methods: We evaluated retrospectively a 6-year period during which 25.567 samples were assessed for 25-OH-vitamin D status by UHPLC. Hypervitaminosis D was defined at serum 25-OH-vitamin D >160 nmol/L. Serum and urine calcium, phosphorus and iPTH were also recorded, if available. Medical history revision was performed in subjects displaying simultaneously hypervitaminosis D and hypercalcemia.
Results: Overall, hypervitaminosis D was found in 475 samples (1.86%) of which 51 displayed hypercalcemia (11.1%). A total of 382 samples were identified as the first record of hypervitaminosis D and 39 presented hypercalcemia (10.2%), most of them at 25-OH-vitamin D levels between 161 and 375 nmol/L. Only in 15 subjects, hypercalcemia could be directly attributed to vitamin D and serum 25-OH-vitamin D ranged between 164 and 1139 nmol/l. In no case, serum calcium achieved concentrations considered as critical values (>13 mg/dl).
Conclusion: Hypercalcemia due to vitamin D represented <4% of the total hypervitaminosis D detected and <0.1% of the tests performed. However, a highly variable response was observed and most subjects presented hypercalcemia at serum concentrations of 25-OH-vitamin D < 375 nmol/L.
Keywords: Clinical practice; Hipervitaminosis D; Hypercalcemia; Vitamin D status; Vitamin D toxicity.
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