Tumour-induced osteomalacia (TIO) is a rare paraneoplastic syndrome caused by a fibroblast growth-factor-23 (FGF-23)-secreting phosphaturic mesenchymal tumour (PMT) and is characterised by hypophosphataemic osteomalacia. We present a 36-year-old man initially presenting with diffuse bone and joint pain who was inappropriately treated for presumed ankylosing spondylitis for 2 years. Whole-body bone scan suggested metabolic bone disease, prompting referral to our endocrine institution. He was subsequently diagnosed with persistent hypophosphataemia, inappropriately high renal tubular phosphate excretion, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D suppression, severe osteoporosis and severe osteomalacia. FGF-23 concentrations (140 ng/L) were raised 3-fold above the upper limit of normal. Initial Gallium-68 (Ga) DOTATATE positron emission tomography (PET)/CT scan missed an active lesion in the left fibular head as the field only included the mid-brain to the proximal femora. Histopathology results from tumour resection confirmed a PMT over-expressing FGF-23. Serum phosphate and FGF-23 normalised immediately post-operatively. He developed severe hypocalcaemia 3-weeks post-operatively (1.77 mmol/L) which normalised after 1 month of high-dose caltrate and calcitriol therapy. Osteomalacia, osteoporosis and associated symptoms resolved during medium-term follow-up with >100% improvement in his bone mineral density. This case report and discussion highlights the pitfalls contributing to delayed diagnosis of TIO and alerts clinicians to the potential complication of hungry bone syndrome post-tumour resection.
© 2020 The Authors.