Intravenous calcium infusions produced subjective relief of bone pain in 14 patients with primary biliary cirrhosis. The bone pain had developed despite long-term parenteral vitamin D therapy. The pain returned after two to three months, but a subsequent course of infusions again brought relief. Before treatment satisfactory iliac crest bone biopsies were obtained in 11 of the patients and were normal in seven; two patients had biopsies indicating osteomalacia and two osteoporosis. After treatment a repeat biopsy in one of the patients with osteomalacia showed marked reduction in osteoid. The infusion treatment produced no change in plasma calcium concentration, serum phosphate, or serum alkaline phosphatase. Absorption of oral calcium was also unchanged.
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