Post Transplant Erythrocytosis in Hypercalcemic Renal Transplant Recipients


  • There were no external funding sources for this study.

*Corresponding author: Stephen R. Smith,


In vitro data suggest that calcium plays an important role in normal and disordered erythropoiesis. The purpose of this study is to determine whether there is an association between serum calcium, various hormone levels, and the development of post transplant erythrocytosis (PTE). Data were collected on 283 patients who underwent renal transplantation between 1994 and 1998. The relationship between serum calcium and PTE development was tested using the chi-square test. Univariate and multivariable adjusted models were employed to determine predictors of maximum hematocrit. Selected patients underwent measurement of intact parathyroid hormone (PTH), 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D, and erythropoietin (EPO). Seventy-three patients (26%) developed PTE. Post transplant erythrocytosis was more common in patients with hypercalcemia compared with patients with normal serum calcium (34% vs. 18%, p = 0.002). In multivariable analyses, serum calcium was a strong independent predictor of maximum hematocrit post transplant, even after adjustment for renal function. A serum calcium of ≥10.2 mg/dL was associated with greater than two-fold increased odds of PTE. There were no differences in hormone levels between subjects with hypercalcemia and PTE, subjects with PTE alone, and subjects with hypercalcemia alone. Hypercalcemia is associated with the development of PTE in renal transplant recipients.