Hypercalcemia: A Rapid Review

27 October 2023 by Shahriar Lahouti.

Hypercalcemia is defined as a serum calcium level above the upper limit of the normal reference range (usually above 10.5 mg/dl). Hypercalcemia can be produced by a variety of disorders, but primary hyperparathyroidism and malignancy account for most cases.

Hypercalcemia may be associated with a spectrum of clinical manifestations. The associated symptoms depend upon both the degree of hypercalcemia and the rate of onset of the elevation in the serum calcium concentration.

The clinical presentation and diagnostic and therapeutic approach to hypercalcemia are summarized below.

Medications commonly used to manage hypercalcemic crisis


  • PMID: 36282253. Walker MD, Shane E. Hypercalcemia: A Review. JAMA. 2022 Oct 25;328(16):1624-1636. doi: 10.1001/jama.2022.18331.
  • PMID: 31826272. Asonitis N, Angelousi A, Zafeiris C, Lambrou GI, Dontas I, Kassi E. Diagnosis, Pathophysiology and Management of Hypercalcemia in Malignancy: A Review of the Literature. Horm Metab Res. 2019 Dec;51(12):770-778. doi: 10.1055/a-1049-0647. Epub 2019 Dec 11.
  • PMID: 34197298. Kenny CM, Murphy CE, Boyce DS, Ashley DM, Jahanmir J. Things We Do for No Reason™: Calculating a “Corrected Calcium” Level. J Hosp Med. 2021 Aug;16(8):499-501. doi: 10.12788/jhm.3619.
  • PMID: 18711156. LeGrand SB, Leskuski D, Zama I. Narrative review: furosemide for hypercalcemia: an unproven yet common practice. Ann Intern Med. 2008 Aug 19;149(4):259-63. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-149-4-200808190-00007.
  • PMID: 24130250. Maier JD, Levine SN. Hypercalcemia in the Intensive Care Unit: A Review of Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, and Modern Therapy. J Intensive Care Med. 2015 Jul;30(5):235-52. doi: 10.1177/0885066613507530. Epub 2013 Oct 15.
  • PMID: 25447624. Ahmad S, Kuraganti G, Steenkamp D. Hypercalcemic crisis: a clinical review. Am J Med. 2015 Mar;128(3):239-45. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2014.09.030. Epub 2014 Oct 17.

Shahriar Lahouti

Founder, Chief Editor
I am Shahriar Lahouti and RECAP EM is my primary FOAMed project. The philosophy of RECAP EM is to promote critical thinking and enlightening the mindsets with most rational, current evidence towards a safer practice.

Add comment

Follow us everywhere

Most popular

Most discussed