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Unimore endocrinologists identify a biochemical index for the diagnosis of primary hyperparathyroidism

Researchers of the Complex Operational Unit (UOC) of the Endocrinology University Hospital in Modena, directed by professor Manuela Simoni, found an index for the diagnosis of calcium and phosphorus metabolic diseases, and of primary hyperparathyroidism in particular.

Primary hyperparathyroidism – explains professor Vincenzo Rochira at Unimore – is the third most common endocrine disease after diabetes mellitus and thyroid diseases, despite being widely underdiagnosed. About 60 % of  patients suffering from primary hyperparathyroidism are experiencing or are subject over the years to complications such as osteoporosis, kidney stones, and kidney failure. It is therefore important to perform an early diagnosis of this disease, which often occurs asymptomatically until the appearance of complications”. 

The clinical study, the results of which have just been published on the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research - JBMR Plus , a respected journal of the US Association of Bone Mineral Metabolism, stems from the intuition of Mr. Bruno Madeo, first author of the article, who together with Unimore professor Vincenzo Rochira, has identified a biochemical index based on dosing and calculating the ratio between two electrolytes, serum calcium and phosphorus.

Researchers from Modena validated the diagnostic reliability of the serum calcium/phosphorus ratio, by identifying a threshold value of 3.5, over which the disease can be diagnosed, whereas it is currently and often detected at a more advanced stage, as the single value of calcium may fall within the standards.

The idea comes from the observation of the behaviour of these simple electrolytes under the condition of primary hyperparathyroidism  – explained Mr. Bruno Madeo –, where the value of calcium is high and the value of phosphorus is low. The idea to be pursued was initially so simple, it did not seem possible that it had never been developed before. Upon finding out that in scientific literature there were no investigations on the calcium/phosphorus ratio, we decided to complete the study and assess the results”.

Other than being a simple examination, its cheapness may facilitate its application to screenings in patients suffering from osteoporosis or kidney stones, even in countries with poor economic resources.

The scientific community has shown immediate interest in this finding. “Seeing the enthusiasm of colleagues when we presented our data at national and international congresses was a pleasant surprise”, the researchers commented.

Bruno Madeo

First level medical director at the UOC of Endocrinology at the University Hospital in Modena and Civil Hospital in Baggiovara, he is in charge of the Bone endocrine-metabolic diseases department, and of the Unit of Endocrinology and Oncology, and Thyroid Cancer. He is a Research Doctor in hepatogastroenterology and metabolic-endocrine sciences, and a scholar at Unimore. A member of several scientific associations, both international (European Society of Endocrinology) and national (Association of Endocrinologist Doctors, Italian Endocrinology Association, Italian Association of Andrology and Sexual Medicine), he is a reference person for Emilia Romagna of the Endocrinology Medical Association. He is the author of 30 publications on indexed international journals and focuses his research activity on thyroid and parathyroid diseases, as well as on osteoporosis

Vincenzo Rochira

An associated professor of Endocrinology at Unimore, he is responsible for the Surgery of Hypotalamo-Pituitary Diseases and in charge of the Unit of Instrumental and Intervention Diagnostics of Thyroid and Parathyroid Diseases of the UOC of Endocrynology at the University Hospital in Modena. A member of several scientific associations, both international (The Endocrine Society, European Society of Endocrinology, European Academy of Andrology) and national (Italian Endocrinology Association, Italian Association of Andrology and Sexual Medicine), he is the author of 80 publications on indexed international journals and focuses his studies on hypophysis diseases, male osteoporosis, the role of oestrogens in male patients, thyroid and parathyroid diseases.


JBMR® Plus vol. 2, no. 2,  March 2018

Serum Calcium to Phosphorous (Ca/P) Ratio Is a Simple, Inexpensive, and Accurate Tool in the Diagnosis of Primary Hyperparathyroidism http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jbm4.10019/epdf

Bruno Madeo, Elda Kara, Katia Cioni, Silvia Vezzani, Tommaso Trenti, Daniele Santi, Manuela Simoni, Vincenzo Rochira

Article published by:  Unimore Press Office  -  ufficiostampa@unimore.it


Categorie: International - english

Articolo pubblicato da: Ufficio Stampa Unimore - ufficiostampa@unimore.it