Author(s): Albitar S, Genin R, FenChong M, Serveaux MO, Schohn D,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Alfacalcidol is efficient for treating secondary hyperparathyroidism in patients on maintenance haemodialysis (HD). Little is known about the direct impact of high-dose alfacalcidol on anaemia in end-stage renal failure. We therefore carried out a prospective study over 18 months to examine the direct effect of high-dose alfacalcidol on erythropoiesis in erythropoietin (rHuEpo)-dependent anaemic patients on HD for more than 6 months with moderate hyperparathyroidism. STUDY DESIGN: Twelve patients received oral alfacalcidol at a dosage of 6-7 micrograms per week and calcium carbonate during the first 12 months, calcium carbonate without alfacalcidol during the next 3 months, and again alfacalcidol and calcium carbonate during the last 3 months. Criteria for selection were haemoglobin < 10 g/dl, iPTH > 250 pg/ml, transferrin saturation (TS) > 25\%, S-ferritin > 300 micrograms/l, and S-aluminium < 40 micrograms/l. RESULTS: Haemoglobin (Hb) and reticulocyte counts increased during the first phase, decreased and returned to a baseline prior to starting vitamin D treatment in the second phase, and again increased when alfacalcidol was reintroduced, whereas iPTH decreased during the first 3 months of the first phase and then remained stable, as did S-calcium, which increased during the first 3 months and then remained constant. S-phosphate increased during the first and third phases, and decreased during the second phase. Two patients during the first phase and one patient during the third phase presented hypercalcaemia; requiring a temporary discontinuation of alfacalcidol. CONCLUSION: High-dose alfacalcidol is efficient in anaemic patients with moderate hyperparathyroidism on maintenance HD and has a direct effect on erythropoietic cells regardless of serum calcium and iPTH levels.
This article was published in Nephrol Dial Transplant
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Pharmacology