Nine patients with primary hyperparathyroidism were studied to investigate the renal tubular reabsorption of calcium and sodium. Fasting serum and urine samples were analysed, and the glomerular filtration rate and the renal plasma clearance of lithium were determined simultaneously. Comparison was made with 9 ageand sex-matched normocalcemic controls. In the proximal tubule, there was a significantly higher absolute reabsorption of calcium in patients than in controls, whereas the fractional reabsorption rate of calcium did not differ between the two groups. In the distal tubule, the absolute calcium reabsorption rate was significantly higher in the patients, whereas the fractional reabsorption rate of calcium was significantly lower than in controls. In the patient group there was a significantly positive linear correlation between the increased tubular capacity for calsium reabsorption and the absolute proximal calcium reabsorption rate, but not between the increased capacity and the absolute distal calcium reabsorption rate. No significant differences were found in the renal tubular handling of sodium between patients and controls. Our results suggest that the increased capacity for tubular calcium reabsorption in primary hyperparathyroidism mainly is localized in the proximal tubule, and that the renal tubular handling of calcium and sodium in this disease differs from that in familial hypocalciuric hypercalcemia.