With the markedly reduced usage of aluminum salts in renal failure, parathyroid hormone (PTH) has become the major determinant of currently seen bone disease. Clinicians now must consider what PTH level should be sought. Too low a level may lead to the aplastic bone lesion (low turnover bone), and too high a level may cause osteitis fibrosa. Furthermore, conventional normal PTH levels may not be a suitable target because of the well-known resistance to PTH in uremic patients. In this report, we derive the PTH levels that best distinguish patients with low and high bone formation states from those with normal bone formation in a group of 175 dialysis patients without aluminum toxicity. Using bone histological parameters, we propose that ideally PTH levels should be maintained between 10 pmol/L (100 pg/mL) and 20 to 30 pmol/L (200 to 300 pg/mL) in chronic dialysis patients, levels two to four times the upper limit of values found in normal subjects.