Twenty-seven unselected patients were investigated three to eight years after jejunoileal bypass for morbid obesity. The serum levels of calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, and the renal excretions of calcium and magnesium were reduced. The serum alkaline phosphatase levels were increased. The serum levels of the two vitamin D metabolites 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD) and 1.25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1.25-(OHD)2D) were reduced and inversely related to the increased serum levels of immunoreactive parathyroid hormones (iPTH). Serum 1.25-(OH)2D correlated positively and serum iPTH inversely with serum concentrations and renal excretion rates of calcium. Iliac crest bone biopsies after in vivo tetracycline double-labelling showed a reduced bone turnover with an increased amount of osteoid due to an increase in both surface extent and mean width of osteoid seams. The increased volume of osteoid was caused by a decreased osteoblastic function with a longer life-span of bone-forming sites and a prolongation of the mineralisation lag time. The amount of trabecular bone was normal. The results indicate an impaired vitamin D metabolism with osteomalacia and secondary hyperparathyroidism.
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