Ionized hypercalcemia in cats with azotemic chronic kidney disease (2012-2018)

D.H.N. van den Broek, R F Geddes, Nicola Lotter, Yu-mei Chang, Jonathan Elliott, Rosanne E Jepson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Hypercalcemia is associated with chronic kidney disease (CKD) in cats, but studies assessing the physiologically relevant ionized calcium fraction are lacking.

To describe the prevalence and incidence rate of ionized hypercalcemia, and to explore predictor variables to identify cats at risk of ionized hypercalcemia in a cohort of cats diagnosed with azotemic CKD.

One hundred sixty-four client-owned cats with azotemic CKD.

Variables independently associated with ionized hypercalcemia at diagnosis of azotemic CKD were explored by binary logistic regression. Cats that were normocalcemic at diagnosis of azotemic CKD were followed over a 12-month period or until ionized hypercalcemia occurred and baseline predictor variables for ionized hypercalcemia explored using Cox proportional hazards and receiver operating characteristic curve analysis.

Ionized hypercalcemia (median, 1.41 mmol/L; range, 1.38-1.68) was observed in 33/164 (20%) cats at diagnosis of azotemic CKD and was associated with male sex, higher plasma total calcium and potassium concentrations, and lower plasma parathyroid hormone concentrations. Twenty-five of 96 initially normocalcemic (26%) cats followed for minimum 90 days developed ionized hypercalcemia (median, 1.46 mmol/L; range, 1.38-1.80) at a median of 140 days after diagnosis of azotemic CKD (incidence rate, 0.48 per feline patient-year). Only body condition score was independently associated with incident ionized hypercalcemia.

Conclusions and Clinical Importance
The occurrence of ionized hypercalcemia is high in cats with CKD. Continued monitoring of blood ionized calcium concentrations is advised.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1312-1321
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Issue number4
Early online date24 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • calcium
  • diet
  • feline
  • renal


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