The metabolism of calcium was studied in a man after complete removal of the thyroid and parathyroid glands. A slight retention of calcium (0.4578 of a gram of calcium oxide in the ten-day period) was noted. The urinary calcium excretion was low, averaging 0.0134 of a gram per day on a daily ingestion averaging 1.6736 grams of calcium oxide. A slight increase was observed during the period of study in the calcium content of the blood.
No symptoms of tetany were noted in the patient, who survived operation thirty-nine days.
The low urinary and blood calcium values are taken to show deficient absorption of calcium, which may bear some relation to the decreased gastric secretion after parathyroidectomy.
Attempts are made to explain the non-occurrence of tetany as due to the high calcium intake and to the development of a compensatory mechanism in which the pituitary body may play a part.