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Humoral hypercalcemia of malignancy (HHM) is most commonly encountered in squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of different organs, and It is characterized by elevated parathyroid hormone-related peptide (PTHrP) levels. It may be seen as a manifestation of cholangiocarcinoma (CCC) at presentation and later in the course of the disease. However, HHM due to intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma is a rare association and is associated with a poor prognosis. We herein report a case of hypercalcemia presenting as the first manifestation of an underlying rare variant of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma. Our patient is a 57-year-old male who presented to the emergency room with severe symptoms of constipation and polyuria and was admitted to the hospital for symptomatic hypercalcemia. He was found to have a hypermetabolic 15 cm liver mass, abdominal lymph nodes on imaging, which was subsequently diagnosed as adenosquamous cholangiocarcinoma by liver biopsy. This necessitated an urgent inpatient treatment with gemcitabine/cisplatin combination chemotherapy to control the aggressive nature of the malignancy. However, he deteriorated and expired after three months of his diagnosis. Adenosquamous cholangiocarcinoma is a very rare variant of a liver tumor. It develops due to squamous metaplasia of an underlying cholangiocarcinoma and usually has aggressive clinicopathological features. HMM is a life-threatening, yet unrecognized, phenomenon of cholangiocarcinoma, which represents a poor prognostic marker. Prompt recognition of this complication is important for preventing serious complications associated with hypercalcemia and to improve the quality of life of these patients.


Originally published in Cureus. See

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



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