A randomized multicenter trial of paricalcitol versus calcitriol for secondary hyperparathyroidism in stages 3-4 CKD

Daniel W. Coyne, Seth Goldberg, Mark Faber, Cybele Ghossein, Stuart M. Sprague

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Background and objectives: Calcitriol is used to treat secondary hyperparathyroidism in patients with CKD. Paricalcitol is less calcemic and phosphatemic in preclinical studies and in some trials in dialysis patients, but head-to-head comparisons in nondialysis patients are lacking.Alargemeta-analysis of trials concluded that these agents did not consistently reduce parathyroid hormone (PTH) and increased the risk of hypercalcemia and hyperphosphatemia. Therefore, the objective of this multicenter trial was to compare the rate of hypercalcemia between calcitriol and paricalcitol, while suppressing PTH 40%-60%. Design, setting, participants, & measurements: Patients with stages 3-4CKD(n=110) with a PTHlevel.120 pg/ml were recruited and randomized to 0.25 mg/d of calcitriol or 1 mg/d of paricalcitol between April 2009 and July 2011. Subsequent dose adjustments were by protocol to achieve 40%-60% PTH suppression below baseline. The primary endpoint was the rate of confirmed hypercalcemia of >10.5 mg/dl between groups. Results: Forty-five patients in each group completed the 24 weeks of treatment. Both agents suppressed PTH effectively (252% with paricalcitol and 246% with calcitriol; P=0.17), although the paricalcitol group reached a 40% reduction in PTH sooner at a median 8 weeks (interquartile range [IQR], 4, 12) versus 12 weeks (IQR, 8, 18; P=0.02) and had a lower pill burden of 240 (IQR, 180, 298) versus 292 (IQR, 231, 405; P=0.01). Confirmed hypercalcemiawas very lowin both groups (threewith paricalcitol and onewith calcitriol) andwas not significantly different (P=0.36). Both groups had small increases in calcium and phosphorus levels (0.3-0.4 mg/dl in each electrolyte) and significant decreases in alkaline phosphatase, a marker of high bone turnover,with no significant differences between groups. Conclusions: These results show that both calcitriol and paricalcitol achieved sustained PTH and alkaline phosphatase suppression in stages 3-4 CKD, with small effects on serum calcium and phosphorus and a low incidence of hypercalcemia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1620-1626
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2014


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