Background: Vitamin D deficiency is frequently observed in end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients; however, the effects of vitamin D supplementation have rarely been reported. We aimed to assess the effects of daily 25(OH)D(3) supplementation on mineral metabolism, bone markers and Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (KDOQI) targets in haemodialysis (HD) patients for a period of 6 months.
Methods: HD patients were included in this study if their serum 25(OH)D level was <75 mmol/L. Oral 25(OH)D(3) was administered daily at 10-30 microg/day based on the severity of the deficiency. Characteristics of the patients were compared from the baseline to 6 months on the basis of their response to 25(OH)D(3) administration and the patients were divided into three groups. Patients who showed partial response [serum 25(OH)D <75 nmol/L] were placed in group 1, those who showed normal response [serum 25(OH)D ranging from 75 to 150 nmol/L] were placed in group 2 and those who showed excessive response [serum 25(OH)D >150 nmol/L] were placed in group 3.
Results: Of the 253 HD patients, 225 (89%) showed vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency, 172 were included in the study and 149 patients completed the study. After 6 months of treatment [mean daily 25(OH)D(3): 16 +/- 5 microg/day], the serum 25(OH)D level increased (30 +/- 19 to 126 +/- 46 nmol/ L, P < 0.001), with 13% of patients in group 1, 57% in group 2 and 30% in group 3. The serum intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH) level decreased (235 +/- 186 to 189 +/- 137 pg/mL, P = 0.05), except in group 1. Bone alkaline phosphatase (BALP) showed a tendency to normalize (23 +/- 16 to 18.3 +/- 11 microg/L, P < 0.05), leading to a decrease in alfacalcidol administration from 66% to 43% (P < 0.05), except in group 1. The KDOQI targets achieved increased significantly for serum calcium (76% to 85%) and phosphate levels (66% to 77%) in all patients. The serum albumin level increased in all groups (34.6 +/- 4 to 36.8 +/- 4 g/L, P < 0.05), without any significant improvement in normalized protein catabolic rate (nPCR) or C-reactive proteins (CRP).
Conclusion: With a daily dose ranging from 10 to 30 microg, daily oral 25(OH)D(3) supplementation corrects most vitamin D deficiencies or insufficiencies in HD patients, without any evident toxicity. The main effects observed included correction of excessive bone turnover, despite less alfacalcidol administration, increase in serum albumin level and increase in the percentage of patients with serum calcium and phosphorus levels within the recommendation of the KDOQI guidelines.