Effect of vitamin D nutrition on disease indices in patients with primary hyperparathyroidism

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

The Journal of steroid biochemistry and molecular biology


In patients with primary hyperparathyroidism, the size of the adenoma is a major determinant of biochemical indices, disease severity, and manner of presentation. However, the large variation in adenoma weight, both within and between populations and a steady decline in parathyroid adenoma weights over time remain largely unexplained. Based on the results in a small number of patients almost two decades ago we proposed that vitamin D nutritional status of the patient explains both the disease manifestations and much of the variation in adenoma size. Accordingly, we examined the relationship between vitamin D nutrition, as assessed by serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D, and parathyroid gland weight, the best available index of disease severity, in a large number of patients (n = 440) with primary hyperparathyroidism. A significant inverse relationship was found between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level and log adenoma weight (r = -0.361; p < 0.001). Also, the adenoma weight was significantly related directly to serum PTH, calcium, and alkaline phosphatase as dependent variables. In patients with vitamin D deficiency (defined as serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels 15 ng/mL or lower), gland weight, PTH, AP, and adjusted calcium were each significantly higher than in patients with 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels of 16 ng/mL or higher, but serum 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D levels were similar in both groups. We interpret this to mean that suboptimal vitamin D nutrition stimulates parathyroid adenoma growth by a mechanism unrelated to 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D deficiency. We conclude that variable vitamin D nutritional status in the population may partly explain the differences in disease presentation.

PubMed ID