Background: Successful kidney transplantation is believed to reverse secondary hyperparathyroidism, but persistent disease has emerged in a significant number of allograft recipients. Parathyroid hormone (PTH) is not only involved in the aetiology of calcium/phosphate abnormalities and osteitis fibrosa, but it is also a permissive factor in the occurrence of hypertension, cardiovascular damage and dyslipidaemia. In experimental renal failure, abrogation of hyperparathyroidism by administration of a calcimimetic or parathyroidectomy (PTX) attenuates progression of renal failure. To evaluate the impact of PTX on blood pressure (BP), renal graft function and serum lipids, we performed a retrospective case-controlled study in renal graft recipients.
Methods: Charts of 1647 kidney allograft recipients, transplanted between 1989 and 2004, were reviewed. Thirty-two patients with a functioning graft and a history of a successful PTX performed at least 9 months after transplantation were identified. Biochemical and clinical data available 6 months pre- and post-PTX were registered. Changes in BP, renal function and serum lipids were assessed. The data were compared with those obtained in a similar time frame in a control group closely matched for date of transplantation.
Results: Systolic BP (149.9 vs 141.7 mmHg), diastolic BP (85.6 vs 81.9 mmHg), pulse pressure (64.3 vs 58.8 mmHg), total cholesterol concentration (221.4 vs 211.1 mg/dl) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentration (123.9 vs 106.7 mg/dl) improved significantly after successful PTX. Serum creatinine, conversely, significantly increased after PTX (1.75 vs 2.13 mg/dl, P<0.0001). No significant changes were observed in the control group in the same time period.
Conclusion: In patients with a functioning renal graft, BP and dyslipidaemia improve, whereas serum creatinine worsens following successful PTX. Our data are in agreement with a stimulatory effect of PTH on plasma renin activity and an inhibitory effect on lipase activity, as previously demonstrated by others. To what extent the increased serum creatinine following PTX reflects a true deterioration of the glomerular filtration rate and/or is the consequence of vitamin D-induced reduction of the renal tubular secretion of creatinine needs to be elucidated by further research.