BMC musculoskeletal disorders 2017 09 2118(1) 403 doi 10.1186/s12891-017-1756-1
Tumor-induced osteomalacia (TIO) is a rare paraneoplastic syndrome characterized by severe hypophosphatemia and osteomalacia. Nonspecific symptoms make the diagnosis elusive. In addition, locating the responsible tumor(s) is challenging. The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical management and outcomes of TIO.
The clinical features, diagnostic procedures, treatment, and outcomes of 12 patients were reviewed retrospectively.
The cohort comprised six men and six women (mean age 45.5 ± 9.9 years, range 23-61 years). The mean duration of disease was 3.7 ± 2.6 years. All patients manifested progressive bone pain, muscle weakness, and/or difficulty walking. Serum phosphorus concentrations were low in all patients (mean 0.42 ± 0.12 mmol/L). Technetium-99m octreotide scintigraphy was performed in 11 patients and showed lesions in the right distal femur, left femoral head, and right tibial plateau, respectively, in three patients. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was negative for lesions in one patient. Two patients underwent biopsies that showed negative histopathology. Two patients, at 2 years and 8 months, respectively, after having negative technetium-99m octreotide studies, underwent (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (CT), which revealed lesions in the sacrum and soft tissue of the left palm, respectively. One tumor was detected by CT and MRI. Overall, lesion sites were the head (two patients, 16.7%), thoracic and lumbar region (two, 16.7%), pelvis (three, 25%), lower limbs (four, 33.3%), and upper limbs (one, 8.3%). All patients underwent surgery, and histopathology showed phosphaturic mesenchymal tumors in each. Postoperatively, serum phosphorus concentrations normalized within 2-7 days in 11 patients. With follow-ups of 1-41 months, surgery was effective in 10 patients. One patient developed local recurrence and another had metastases.
Locating tumors responsible for tumor-induced osteomalacia is often challenging. Although complete tumor resection confers a good prognosis in most patients, surveillance for recurrence and metastasis is necessary. Before surgery or when surgery is not indicated, oral phosphate can alleviate symptoms and metabolic imbalance.