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Sodium Sulfate Infusions and Hypercalcemia

Jacob Lemann Jr., MD; Michael P. Mehr, MD
JAMA. 1965;194(10):1126-1127. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090230094025.
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Life-threatening hypercalcemia may occasionally be responsible for the primary symptoms among patients with different diseases affecting calcium metabolism. In these circumstances there is a need for methods that will rapidly lower the serum calcium to less dangerous levels while various diagnostic studies are carried out and difinitive treatment is planned.

During the past few years there has been interest in the use of infusions of sodium sulfate to promote renal excretion of calcium and thus combat hypercalcemia. Walser and his associates have demonstrated that sodium sulfate lowers serum calcium levels by markedly accelerating urinary calcium excretion when large quantities of the drug are infused rapidly into dogs.1 In addition, they have reported, in abstract, that sodium sulfate infusions are accompained by some lowering of serum calcium levels in patients with hypercalcemia secondary to malignant diseases.2 Recently, a marked fall in serum calcium was reported in association with the


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