Relation between circulating levels of 25(OH) vitamin D and parathyroid hormone in chronic kidney disease: quest for a threshold

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Jul;98(7):2922-8. doi: 10.1210/jc.2013-1294. Epub 2013 Apr 30.


Context: Vitamin D deficiency is common in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Current guidelines recommend treatment strategies in these patients similar to those for the general population, but the vitamin D nutritional status sufficient to prevent PTH levels from increasing in CKD is unknown. OBJECTIVE, MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Our aim was to study the relation between circulating PTH and 25(OH)D levels and to search for a 25(OH)D threshold associated with a significant PTH increase.

Design, setting, and patients: In the hospital-referred NephroTest cohort study, we measured 25(OH)D, PTH, and glomerular filtration rate (mGFR) by ⁵¹Cr-EDTA renal clearance in 929 adult patients with nondialysis CKD stages 1 to 5 and no vitamin D supplementation. Patients' mean age was 60.1 ± 14.7 years; 71% were men, and 9% were black. Their median mGFR was 37.8 mL/min/1.73 m².

Results: We found a 25(OH)D threshold of 8 ng/mL with an upper limit of 20 ng/mL (95% confidence interval) by linear piecewise regression modeling of log-PTH for 25(OH)D adjusted for mGFR, age, race, and ionized calcium level. The smoothed curve confirmed that PTH concentration rose steeply when circulating 25(OH)D levels fell to less than 20 ng/mL.

Conclusions: Spontaneous 25(OH)D levels greater than 20 ng/mL seem sufficient to control serum PTH in CKD patients. This result reinforces guidelines to supplement vitamin D only if less than 30 ng/mL.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 25-Hydroxyvitamin D 2 / blood*
  • Aged
  • Calcifediol / blood*
  • Calcium / blood
  • Calcium / urine
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • France / epidemiology
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Humans
  • Hypercalcemia / epidemiology
  • Hypercalcemia / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parathyroid Hormone / blood*
  • Phosphates / blood
  • Phosphates / urine
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / blood*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / physiopathology
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / urine
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / diagnosis*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / etiology


  • PTH protein, human
  • Parathyroid Hormone
  • Phosphates
  • 25-Hydroxyvitamin D 2
  • Calcifediol
  • Calcium