Long-term effects of calcium carbonate and 2.5 mEq/liter calcium dialysate on mineral metabolism

Kidney Int. 1989 Nov;36(5):897-903. doi: 10.1038/ki.1989.277.


Many investigators have shown that calcium carbonate (CaCO3) is an effective phosphate binder which also prevents the potential disabling effects of aluminum (Al) accumulation. However, hypercalcemia may develop in a substantial numbers of patients. Thus, to control serum phosphate (PO4) and prevent hypercalcemia, we performed studies in 21 patients on maintenance hemodialysis in which, in addition to the oral administration of CaCO3, the concentration of calcium (Ca) in the dialysate was reduced from 3.25 to 2.5 mEq/liter. The studies were divided in three periods: I. control, on Al-binders (one month); II. no Al-binders (one month); III. CaCO3 (seven months). Blood was obtained three times/week before dialysis for the first five months of the study and once a week for the remaining four months. During the control period, the mean serum calcium was 8.86 +/- 0.08 mg/dl. The value decreased to 8.65 +/- 0.07 mg/dl when phosphate binders containing aluminum were discontinued, and increased to 9.19 +/- 0.07 mg/dl (P less than 0.001 compared to period II) during oral supplementation with calcium carbonate. The mean serum phosphorus was 5.03 +/- 0.07 mg/dl during the control period, and increased to 7.29 +/- 0.91 mg/dl (P less than 0.001) after phosphate binders were discontinued. It decreased to 4.95 +/- 0.06 mg/dl (P less than 0.001) with the administration of calcium carbonate. During CaCO3 administration, serum Al decreased from 64.2 +/- 8.5 to 37.1 +/- 3.6 and 25.1 +/- 3.0 micrograms/liter (P less than 0.001) at three and seven months, respectively. Serum parathyroid hormone (PTH) decreased by 20%.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aluminum / blood
  • Calcium / pharmacology*
  • Calcium Carbonate / therapeutic use*
  • Dialysis Solutions / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypercalcemia / prevention & control*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phosphates / blood*
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Time Factors


  • Dialysis Solutions
  • Phosphates
  • Aluminum
  • Calcium Carbonate
  • Calcium