Background: The congestive heart failure syndrome includes a systemic illness with wasting of soft tissues and bone. We hypothesized secondary hyperparathyroidism (HPT) would be found in hospitalized patients with decompensated congestive heart failure (CHF), where secondary aldosteronism is expected, and who were either untreated or treated medically. Methods: In 9 consecutive patients (7 males, 2 females; 8 African-American, 1 Caucasian; 33-60 yrs) admitted to the Regional Medical Center during a 28-day period with chronic left ventricular systolic dysfunction (EF<35%) and decompensated CHF (5 untreated; 4 treated with an angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor, furosemide, and small-dose spironolactone), we measured: plasma parathyroid hormone (PTH); serum calcium corrected for albumin, magnesium, and phosphorus; serum creatinine and calculated creatinine clearance. Results: Plasma PTH was elevated above the normal range (6-65 pg/mL) in both untreated and treated patients with CHF (204±60 and 134±14 pg/mL, respectively). Serum corrected calcium was normal (8.4-10.2 mg/dL) in both untreated and treated CHF (9.7±0.1 and 9.1±0.2 mg/dL, respectively) as were serum magnesium and phosphorus. Calculated creatinine clearance did not differ between untreated and treated patients (74±15 and 83±21 mL/min, respectively). Conclusions: Secondary HPT was found in 5 untreated and 4 treated patients consecutively hospitalized over a 28-day period with decompensated CHF. Corrected serum calcium was normal. Plasmaionized calcium, a determinant of PTH secretion, was not measured. Although vitamin D levels were not assessed, the presence of hypovitaminosis D in these housebound patients with symptomatic CHF cannot be discounted. HPT may contribute to the systemic illness that accompanies CHF, including bone wasting.
- Heart failure
ASJC Scopus subject areas