Questioning the Safety of Calcidiol in Hemodialysis Patients
Background. Epidemiological studies have suggested a survival benefit for hemodialysis patients on paricalcitol or calcitriol, but nutritional vitamin D supplementation of patients already on vitamin D receptor (VDR) activators is controversial. Methods. This observational retrospective cohort study was conducted with prospectively collected data from all consecutive patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) who underwent hemodialysis under routine clinical practice conditions for two years.
... ns for two years. Results. Of the 129 patients, 89 were treated with calcidiol, paricalcitol, and/or calcitriol. The patients with any vitamin D formulation had higher serum concentrations of 25-hydroxy vitamin D and fibroblast growth factor-23 and tended to have higher mortality rates (42% vs. 25%, p = 0.07). On subgroup analysis, any calcidiol treatment or calcidiol combined with paricalcitol associated with significantly higher mortality rates than no treatment (47% and 62.5%, p = 0.043 and 0.008, respectively). The association between calcidiol/paricalcitol treatment and elevated mortality remained significant after adjusting for age, sex, diabetes, C-reactive protein, and hemodialysis vintage. Any calcidiol and calcidiol/paricalcitol treatment exhibited a dose-response relationship with mortality (p for trend: 0.002 and 0.005, respectively). Conclusions. These data draw attention to the hitherto unexplored safety of calcidiol supplementation in patients on hemodialysis, especially in those already on vitamin D. Until clinical trials demonstrate the safety and efficacy of this approach, caution should be exercised when prescribing these patients ≥0.5 calcidiol mg/month.