Normal intrauterine development of the fetus of a woman receiving extraordinarily high doses of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1980 Nov;51(5):1138-42. doi: 10.1210/jcem-51-5-1138.


We monitored the course of pregnancy in a 28-yr-old patient with hereditary insensitivity to 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25-(OH)2D). During pregnancy, she received 1,24-(OH)2D3 in doses of 17--36 micrograms/day (usual dose for hypocalcemia, 0.25--1.0 microgram/day). We separately measured 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25OHD3), 25OHD2, 1,25-(OH)2D3, and 1,25-(OH)2D2 to assess contributions to total 1.25-(OH)2D from endogenous biosynthesis (1 alpha-hydroxylation of 25OHD2 or 25OHD3) vs. contributions from exogenously administered 1.25-(OH)2D3. Serum concentrations of 1,25-(OH)2D were extraordinarily high throughout gestation. The evaluations of total 1,25-(OH)2D in maternal plasma reflected large amounts from both 1 alpha-hydroxylation of 25OHD and oral intake of 1,25-(OH)2D3. At parturition, the calcium concentration was 9.6 mg/dl in maternal serum and 10.2 mg/dl in cord serum. The concentration of total 1,25-(OH)2D in cord serum was high (470 pg/ml; normal mean for placental venous serum, 19 pg/ml); most derived from transplacental passage of maternal 1,25-(OH)2D3 and not from fetoplacental biosynthesis. The child manifested mild hypercalcemia in the first 2 days of life, indicating that the 1,25-(OH)2D3 measured in cord serum was active in vivo. The child showed no somatic features of the syndrome of elfin facies and supravalvular aortic stenosis. We conclude that an extraordinarily high concentration of 1.25-(OH)2D in maternal serum throughout gestation was not apparently toxic to the fetoplacental unit, though the maternal metabolite entered the fetal circulation.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Calcitriol
  • Calcium / blood
  • Dihydroxycholecalciferols / blood
  • Dihydroxycholecalciferols / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Fetal Blood / analysis
  • Fetus / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Hydroxycholecalciferols / blood
  • Hydroxycholecalciferols / therapeutic use*
  • Hypocalcemia / blood
  • Hypocalcemia / drug therapy*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / blood*


  • Dihydroxycholecalciferols
  • Hydroxycholecalciferols
  • Calcitriol
  • Calcium