Background: In chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients, the ability to excrete a phosphate load is impaired. Compensatory increase in parathyroid hormone (PTH) and fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23) promote phosphaturia. Serum FGF23 concentration is considered an early biomarker of excess phosphate load and high levels of FGF23 have been associated with increased mortality. In the present study, we have evaluated the changes in plasma FGF23 after treatment with the phosphate binder lanthanum carbonate in patients with CKD-3 and a normal serum phosphate concentration.
Methods: Eighteen Caucasian CKD Stage 3a/3b patients with serum phosphate <4.5 mg/dL were recruited in a prospective longitudinal open-label study. Patients received a 4-week period of standardized phosphorus-restricted diet containing 0.8 g/Kg/day protein. Thereafter, the same diet was maintained and patients received lanthanum carbonate (750 mg with the three main meals) for 4 weeks.
Results: No significant changes were observed in serum phosphate, however, lanthanum carbonate significantly decreased urinary excretion of phosphate and fractional excretion of phosphate (P < 0.004). This was accompanied by a significant decrease in carboxyterminal FGF23 (median percent change from baseline -21.8% (interquartile range -4.5, -30%), P = 0.025). No changes were observed in PTH.
Conclusions: In conclusion, lanthanum carbonate reduced phosphate load, as assessed by urinary phosphate excretion, and also reduced plasma FGF23 in CKD-3 patients. This occurs in the presence of unchanged normal serum phosphate levels.