Osteomalacia associated with adult Fanconi's syndrome: Clinical and diagnostic features

B. L. Clarke, A. G. Wynne, D. M. Wilson, L. A. Fitzpatrick

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94 Scopus citations


Objective. Osteomalacia associated with adult acquired Fanconi's syndrome is thought to result from hypophosphataemia and relative 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D deficiency. We have followed the clinical and diagnostic features of patients with osteomalacia associated with adult Fanconi's syndrome, with particular emphasis on their responses to treatment with calcium, phosphate and vitamin D. Design. Retrospective Mayo Clinic case-note review from 1975 to 1994 and prospective follow-up study, combined with literature review. Patients. Eleven patients (7 male, 4 female) were identified who satisfied criteria for diagnosis of osteomalacia and adult Fanconi's syndrome. Twenty-five additional patients were identified in a literature review from 1954 to the present. Methods. Clinical history and physical examination, serum and urine bone and mineral parameters, X-ray radiography and iliac crest bone histomorphometry. Results. All patients presented with typical symptoms of osteomalacia, including lower extremity or low back bone pain, and all had fractures, pseudofractures, and/or bone demineralization on X-ray radiography. Osteomalacia and Fanconi's syndrome were diagnosed concurrently in 10 patients, whereas osteomalacia preceded diagnosis of Fanconi's syndrome by 5 years in one patient. Pretreatment bone biopsies in 9 of the 11 patients demonstrated increased osteoid surface, volume and width. In the one patient labelled with tetracycline prior to biopsy, mineralization lag time was prolonged at 111 days (normal 19.2 ± 1.0 days). Hypophosphataemia, inappropriately low 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D levels, renal insufficiency, and chronic acidosis due to bicarbonate leak and uraemia, contributed to the osteomalacia in these patients. Secondary hyperparathyroidism was present in two patients. Eight of the 11 patients with osteomalacia associated with Fanconi's syndrome had monoclonal disorders, including multiple myeloma or lymphoma, many of them manifest by light-chain proteinuria. Over a mean patient follow-up period of 46 months (range 1-239 months), patients responded symptomatically to calcium, phosphate, and vitamin D replacement typically within 1-6 months. In 8 patients in whom follow-up data were available, post-treatment serum phosphate and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D levels improved in the setting of stable mild renal insufficiency; only one patient developed end-stage renal failure after 20 years, suggesting that these patients do not invariably progress rapidly to renal failure. Conclusions. Regardless of the underlying cause, osteomalacia associated with adult acquired Fanconi's syndrome appears to respond well to calcium, phosphate, and vitamin D replacement. These patients do not appear to necessarily require 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D replacement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)479-490
Number of pages12
JournalClinical Endocrinology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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