A patient with extensive cerebral calcification due to pseudohypoparathyroidism: a case report

BMC Endocr Disord. 2019 Dec 19;19(1):142. doi: 10.1186/s12902-019-0475-z.


Background: Pseudohypoparathyroidism(PHP) is a heterogeneous group of disorders due to impaired activation of c AMP dependant pathways following binding of parathyroid hormone (PTH) to its receptor. In PHP end organ resistance to PTH results in hypocalcaemia, hyperphosphataemia and high PTH levels.

Case presentation: A 59 year old male presented with a history of progressive impairment of speech and unsteadiness of gait for 1 week and acute onset altered behavior for 1 day and one episode of generalized seizure. His muscle power was grade four according to MRC (medical research council) scale in all limbs and Chovstek's and Trousseau's signs were positive. Urgent non contrast computed tomography scan of the brain revealed extensive bilateral cerebral and cerebellar calcifications. A markedly low ionized calcium level of 0.5 mmol/l, an elevated phosphate level of 9.5 mg/dl (reference range: 2.7-4.5 mg/dl) and an elevated intact PTH of 76.3 pg/l were noted. His renal functions were normal. His hypocalcemia was accentuated by the presence of hypomagnesaemia. His 25 hydroxy vitamin D level was only marginally low which could not account for severe hypocalcaemia. A diagnosis of pseudohypoparathyroidism without phenotypic defects, was made due to hypocalcaemia and increased parathyroid hormone levels with cerebral calcifications. The patient was treated initially with parenteral calcium which was later converted to oral calcium supplements. His coexisting Vitamin D deficiency was corrected with 1αcholecalciferol escalating doses. His hypomagnesaemia was corrected with magnesium sulphate parenteral infusions initially and later with oral preparations. With treatment there was a significant clinical and biochemical response.

Conclusion: Pseudohypoparathyroidism can present for the first time in elderly resulting in extensive cerebral calcifications. Identification and early correction of the deficit will result in both symptomatic and biochemical response.

Keywords: Cerebral calcifications; Pseudohypoparathyroidism; Vitamin D deficiency.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Calcinosis / blood
  • Calcinosis / diagnosis
  • Calcinosis / drug therapy
  • Calcinosis / etiology*
  • Calcium / administration & dosage
  • Calcium / blood
  • Humans
  • Magnesium Deficiency / blood
  • Magnesium Deficiency / complications
  • Magnesium Deficiency / diagnosis
  • Magnesium Deficiency / drug therapy
  • Magnesium Sulfate / administration & dosage
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parathyroid Hormone / blood
  • Pseudohypoparathyroidism / blood
  • Pseudohypoparathyroidism / complications*
  • Pseudohypoparathyroidism / diagnosis
  • Pseudohypoparathyroidism / drug therapy
  • Spinal Diseases / blood
  • Spinal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Spinal Diseases / drug therapy
  • Spinal Diseases / etiology*
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives
  • Vitamin D / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / complications
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / diagnosis
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / drug therapy


  • Parathyroid Hormone
  • Vitamin D
  • Magnesium Sulfate
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D
  • Calcium