Secondary hyperparathyroidism (SHPT) is commonly seen in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Even in early CKD, parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels are elevated, maintaining mineral homeostasis at the cost of long-term bone health. One potent stimulus for PTH secretion is a deficiency of active vitamin D. Replacement with calcitriol, the active form of vitamin D, lowers PTH but often raises calcium and phosphorus levels, predisposing patients to an increased risk of ectopic; calcifications. Paricalcitol is a vitamin D analog designed to treat SHPT without raising serum calcium and phosphorus levels. The intravenous preparation of paricalcitol is used routinely in the hemodialysis population and has demonstrated a survival benefit over calcitriol in hemodialysis patients. A new oral preparation has now been developed for use in the pre-dialysis CKD population. Thus far, oral paricalcitol has been shown to reduce PTH by an average of 42% in CKD patients, while having minimal effects on serum calcium and phosphorus. While long term effects of the oral preparation have yet to be studied, emerging evidence suggests that paricalcitol mediates a variety of beneficial effects through the activation of vitamin D receptors which may result in improved survival.
- Chronic kidney disease
- Secondary hyperparathyroidism