Case report: vitamin D-mediated hypercalcemia in fungal infections

Am J Med Sci. 1995 Aug;310(2):71-6. doi: 10.1097/00000441-199508000-00007.


Hypercalcemia has been well described in a variety of neoplastic and granulomatous diseases. One mechanism for this hypercalcemia is via the excess production of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D from extra-renal sources. The authors describe an AIDS patient infected with Cryptococcus neoformans who had suggestive evidence of vitamin D-mediated hypercalcemia. He had an elevated serum 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D value, a normal 25-hydroxyvitamin D value, and low values for parathyroid hormone and parathyroid hormone-related peptide. Most previously reported cases of hypercalcemia associated with fungal infections did not include sufficient evidence to implicate a role for excess 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D production, except for two case reports involving patients with hypercalcemia with infections due to Pneumocystis carinii and Candida albicans. The authors' patient's hypercalcemia resolved during treatment of his underlying infection. Patients with hypercalcemia or in whom hypercalcemia develops during a disseminated fungal infection should have vitamin D metabolites measured as part of their work-up.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / complications
  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / metabolism*
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / complications*
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / metabolism
  • Adult
  • Calcitriol / blood
  • Cryptococcosis / complications
  • Cryptococcosis / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hypercalcemia / blood
  • Hypercalcemia / etiology*
  • Male
  • Vitamin D / metabolism*


  • Vitamin D
  • Calcitriol