Bone involvement and mineral metabolism in Williams’ syndrome

S. Palmieri, M. F. Bedeschi, E. Cairoli, V. Morelli, M. E. Lunati, A. Scillitani, V. Carnevale, F. Lalatta, A. M. Barbieri, E. Orsi, A. Spada, I. Chiodini, C. Eller-Vainicher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Context: The previous studies suggested a possible increased risk of hypercalcaemia and reduced bone mineral density (BMD) in Williams’ syndrome (WS). However, an extensive study regarding bone metabolism has never been performed. Objective: To investigate bone health in young adults with WS. Design: Cross-sectional study. Settings: Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases and Medical Genetic Units. Patients: 29 WS young adults and 29 age- and sex-matched controls. Main outcome measures: In all subjects, calcium, phosphorus, bone alkaline phosphatase (bALP), parathyroid hormone (PTH), 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHVitD), osteocalcin (OC), carboxyterminal cross-linking telopeptide of type I collagen (CTX), 24-h urinary calcium and phosphorus, femoral-neck (FN) and lumbar-spine (LS) BMD and vertebral fractures (VFx) were assessed. In 19 patients, serum fibroblast growth factor-23 (FGF23) levels were measured. Results: WS patients showed lower phosphorus (3.1 ± 0.7 vs 3.8 ± 0.5 mg/dL, p = 0.0001) and TmP/GFR (0.81 ± 0.32 vs 1.06 ± 0.25 mmol/L, p = 0.001), and an increased prevalence (p = 0.005) of hypophosphoremia (34.5 vs 3.4%) and reduced TmP/GFR (37.9 vs 3.4%). Moreover, bALP (26.3 ± 8.5 vs 35.0 ± 8.0 U/L), PTH (24.5 ± 12.6 vs 33.7 ± 10.8 pg/mL), OC (19.4 ± 5.3 vs 24.5 ± 8.7 ng/mL), and FN-BMD (− 0.51 ± 0.32 vs 0.36 ± 0.32) were significantly lower (p < 0.05), while CTX significantly higher (401.2 ± 169.3 vs 322.3 ± 122.4 pg/mL, p < 0.05). Serum and urinary calcium and 25OHVitD levels, LS-BMD and VFx prevalence were comparable. No cases of hypercalcemia and suppressed FGF23 were documented. Patients with low vs normal phosphorus and low vs normal TmP/GFR showed comparable FGF23 levels. FGF23 did not correlate with phosphorus and TmP/GFR values. Conclusions: Adult WS patients have reduced TmP/GFR, inappropriately normal FGF23 levels and an uncoupled bone turnover with low femoral BMD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-344
JournalJournal of Endocrinological Investigation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Bone
  • FGF23
  • Phosphorus
  • Williams’ syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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