Pseudohypoparathyroidism: Focus on Cerebral and Renal Calcifications

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2021 Jul 13;106(8):e3005-e3020. doi: 10.1210/clinem/dgab208.


Context: Pseudohypoparathyroidism (PHP) is a group of disorders characterized by hypocalcemia, hyperphosphatemia, and elevated parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels as a result of end-organ resistance to PTH.

Objective: To describe a cohort of 26 patients with PHP followed in a single tertiary center.

Methods: Clinical, biochemical, radiological, and genetic analysis of the GNAS gene in 26 patients recruited since 2002.

Results: Ten patients harbored a GNAS mutation, 15 epigenetic abnormalities at the GNAS locus, and 1 did not show genetic or epigenetic abnormalities. According to clinical, biochemical, and genetic features, patients were classified as PHP1A, PHP1B, and pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism. Patients with PHP1A had an earlier diagnosis and more cases with family history, Albright hereditary osteodystrophy (AHO) features, hormonal resistance, and hypertension. Obesity was a common feature. No difference in biochemical values was present among PHP1A and PHP1B. Intracerebral calcification occurred in 72% of patients with no difference among PHP1A and PHP1B subgroups. No significant difference was observed between patients with and without intracerebral calcification for the time-weighted average values of total serum calcium, phosphate, calcium-phosphate product, and PTH fold increase. A borderline association between cerebral calcification and age at the time of diagnosis (P = .04) was found in the whole cohort of patients. No renal calcifications were found in the overall cohort.

Conclusion: Patients with PHP1A more frequently have AHO features as well as hypertension than patients with PHP1B. Patients with PHP presented a high rate of intracerebral calcification with no significant difference between subgroups. No increased risk of renal calcifications was also found in the entire cohort.


Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brain Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Diseases / genetics*
  • Brain Diseases / pathology
  • Calcinosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Calcinosis / genetics*
  • Calcinosis / pathology
  • Cerebral Cortex / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebral Cortex / pathology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chromogranins / genetics*
  • GTP-Binding Protein alpha Subunits, Gs / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Kidney / diagnostic imaging
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Kidney Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Kidney Diseases / genetics*
  • Kidney Diseases / pathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation*
  • Pseudohypoparathyroidism / diagnostic imaging
  • Pseudohypoparathyroidism / genetics*
  • Pseudohypoparathyroidism / pathology
  • Ultrasonography
  • Young Adult


  • Chromogranins
  • GNAS protein, human
  • GTP-Binding Protein alpha Subunits, Gs