Four women presented with symptomatic hypercalcaemia and raised concentrations of serum parathyroid hormone (PTH). In each case, serum calcium returned spontaneously to normal. In two patients serum PTH also fell to the normal range and biochemical relapse has not occurred despite prolonged follow-up. In the others, serum PTH remained elevated and subsequent symptomatic hypercalcaemia necessitated parathyroidectomy. In the first two cases, autoparathyroidectomy is the most likely explanation; the initial fall in serum calcium in the other two patients is unexplained. Large fluctuations in serum calcium may occur in some patients with hyperparathyroidism and prolonged and careful observation is required when this occurs.
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