Ergocalciferol and cholecalciferol in CKD

Am J Kidney Dis. 2012 Jul;60(1):139-56. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2011.12.035. Epub 2012 May 5.


The development of chronic kidney disease (CKD) is accompanied by a progressive decrease in the ability to produce 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D. Pharmacological replacement with active vitamin D therefore has been a cornerstone of secondary hyperparathyroidism therapy in the end-stage renal disease population treated by long-term dialysis. Recent evidence suggests that extrarenal conversion of 25-hydroxyvitamin D to 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D may have significant biological roles beyond those traditionally ascribed to vitamin D. Furthermore, low 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels are common in patients with all stages of CKD. This article focuses on the role of nutritional vitamin D replacement in CKD and aims to review vitamin D biology and summarize the existing literature regarding nutritional vitamin D replacement in these populations. Based on the current state of the evidence, we provide suggestions for clinical practice and address areas of uncertainty that need further research.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Calcifediol / deficiency
  • Cholecalciferol
  • Ergocalciferols
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Renal Dialysis
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / complications*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / therapy
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives
  • Vitamin D / blood
  • Vitamin D / metabolism
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / drug therapy*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / etiology*


  • Ergocalciferols
  • Vitamin D
  • Cholecalciferol
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D
  • Calcifediol