Vitamin D deficiency is a common problem in end-stage renal disease patients under hemodialysis. Both active and nutritional vitamin D supplementation have been recommended for its treatment. In this study we aimed to evaluate the effects of treatment with ergocalciferol on bone metabolism indexes in hemodialysis patients.
In a randomized controlled trial, 40 hemodialysis patients were randomly allocated to the intervention (n = 20) and placebo (n = 20) groups. During the study, 4 patients in the placebo and 1 in the intervention group were excluded. Patients received calcitriol, 0.25 mg/d, with ergocalciferol, 50 000 IU, or placebo weekly for 3 months. Serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D, calcium, parathyroid hormone, and alkaline phosphatase were measured before and after treatment.
25-hydroxyvitamin D levels were significantly improved in the intervention group (12.00 ± 4.90 ng/mL versus 29.89 ± 9.48 ng/mL, P < .001), but the placebo group had no improvement (14.23 ± 7.62 ng/mL versus 13.87 ± 8.04 ng/mL, P > .05). There was no significant changes in serum calcium, parathyroid hormone, or alkaline phosphatase levels in each group. Eight patients (42.1%) in the intervention compared to zero cases in the placebo group had normal 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels after treatment (P = .004). No cases of hypercalcemia were seen in the studied patients.
Treatment with ergocalciferol could significantly improve vitamin D deficiency with no significant effects of serum calcium or parathyroid hormone levels.